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Car found buried in California yard was part of $87k insurance claim in the 90’s

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A mysterious convertible found buried several feet underground in a California backyard last week has been linked to an $87,000 insurance claim made in the early 1990’s, according to authorities.

The convertible was buried upside down about five feet below the surface, and contained several unused bags of concrete. It was discovered last Thursday by landscaping workers who came across it while they were working at the residence in the wealthy community of Atherton.

Police dogs indicated a trace of human remains but so far none have been discovered in or around the vehicle.

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia read a statement from local police saying they believe the vehicle was buried in the yard before the current owners purchased the home, and that it belonged to a notorious violent criminal. 

Johnny Bocktune Lew, who passed away in 2015, was known to police in the area after being convicted for murdering his girlfriend, and convicted of two more counts of attempted murder in the 1970s. Lew sold the house in 2014 before he died.

Records show Lew reported the buried Mercedes Benz convertible stolen in 1992, and collected $87,000 in insurance money.

The on-scene investigation has concluded, but authorities hope to uncover more information about the car and its contents.

“On Sunday … ground-penetrating radar was used to examine the scene,” police announced this weekend. “This examination did not reveal anything unusual or suspicious at the scene and no human remains were located. This concluded our on-scene investigation.”

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