The team of San Diego police detectives investigating the serial killing of five women in the Clairemont-University City area has been reduced to less than half of its number last September, police said Thursday.
The number of detectives assigned to the case now stands at 13, down from a high of 27, Capt. Dick Toneck said at the department’s weekly press briefing.
The task force began with a five-member team after the stabbing death of Tiffany Paige Schultz in her Clairemont apartment on Jan. 12, 1990. The group was increased to 27 detectives after Pamela Gail Clark, 42, and her daughter Amber, 18, were found stabbed to death in their home in University City on Sept. 13.
The increase was a response to the 3,000 leads amassed by police and from public tips. But, as the force gets close to finishing the task of sorting through the leads, the work load has become more manageable by a smaller group, Toneck said.
Some of the detectives in the group have been reassigned to their normal duties, others have been called to active duty in the Persian Gulf, some have been promoted and one is on medical leave.
After the team finishes working through the leads, detectives will go back through the tips again, a process that could take as long as a year, he said.
The team may be reduced by another three, bringing the total down to 10, but Toneck said he does not foresee any further reductions for a while, and the force could be increased if needed.