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Retired truck driver charged with cold case murder of woman found in Desert Center nearly 30 years ago

June 10, 2022

Retired truck driver charged with cold case murder of woman found in Desert Center nearly 30 years ago

RIVERSIDE – A recently retired cross-country truck driver arrested in Texas for a 1992 murder in that state was charged today, June 10, 2022, by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office with the cold case murder of a woman whose body was found off Interstate 10 in the Desert Center area nearly 30 years ago.


On March 30, 1993, the body of Sherri Herrera, 30, a mother of four from Tulare, Calif., was found on the eastbound Hayfield Road onramp to I-10 in Desert Center. She was last seen alive just a few days before her body was found.


In late May, Texas Rangers arrested Douglas Thomas, DOB: 7-5-54, on suspicion of the murder of a woman found in Titus County, Texas, in April 1992. Thomas was connected by authorities to that murder by a DNA match to evidence from that crime scene. Thomas traveled extensively throughout the United States during his 40-plus years as a truck driver, according to authorities.


Thomas’s DNA was also connected to evidence gathered during the investigation into Sherri Herrera’s murder. Investigators with the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Team, which is led by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Texas and interviewed Thomas about Sherri Herrera’s murder.


Based on their investigation, the DA’s Office charged Thomas in case RIF2202776 with the 1993 murder of Sherri Herrera. Along with murder count, the DA’s Office also has filed a special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape.


Thomas remains in custody in Texas and will be prosecuted there first for the 1992 murder in that state. The DA’s Office will then request Thomas be extradited to California to face justice for the murder of Sherri Herrera.


The Riverside County DA’s Office is asking that anyone who may have any information about the victim, Sherri Herrera; or Douglas Thomas; or who may have seen anything suspicious around I-10 and Hayfield Road on or around March 30, 1993, contact the Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team. Information can be provided by calling (951) 955-2777.


The Regional Cold Case Homicide Team is comprised of members of the DA’s Office Bureau of Investigation, the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner Department, the FBI, and the Riverside Police Department. The team is available to assist in the investigation of cold case homicides for all Riverside County law enforcement agencies.


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Author: John Hall

Categories: News ReleaseNumber of views: 11054

Tags: Cold CaseRiverside County Regional Cold Case Teamcold case murderSherri HerreraDouglas ThomasDesert Center