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STOCKTON, CA - The family that just learned this week their missing loved one had been found 10 years ago, and identified nine months ago, visited that recovery site in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Friday.

Tracy Melton went missing in 1998, and her family had no answers until Tuesday.

Unfortunately, the answers weren't very comforting because they were told bone fragments ofMelton were found in 2002 and finally identified in April of last year.

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"I'm very hurt over it. In 2002, they didn't do anything to find the rest of the remains. They didn't call us or let us know," said sister Sharon Melton.

Family had held the slim hope Tracy Melton might one day come home.

"I always had the hope she was out there, maybe left town because Stockton was too rough. I was hoping she made a better life somewhere else," said Melton's son Darren.

Although it is not clear what happened to Melton, her family thinks she was another victim of Wes Shermantine and Loren Herzog. The two convicted killers from San Joaquin County knew Melton, and her bone fragments were found not far from the location of two other victims.

The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department statement Friday regarding the Melton mishap was brief.

"No explanation, no excuses. We dropped the ball. There's nothing more to say," said spokesman Deputy Les Garcia.

By tdaly@news10.net

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