It's been six weeks since authorities discovered the bodies of Charlene Abendroth, 57, and her husband Ernest Scherer, Jr., 60, in their Castlewood Country Club home, victims of an apparent double homicide.
With no arrests to report, investigators are calling the case "frustrating," but are hopeful it will be resolved.
"It's been very frustrating," said Sgt. Scott Dudek of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, which is handling the case because Castlewood is in an unincorporated part of the county. "We're optimistic there will be a conclusion in this at some time, hopefully in the near future."
The couple, married for 31 years, were found brutally beaten to death March 14 by a country club employee, after the couple's daughter from Utah became concerned and asked that someone check on them. It's believed that the couple was killed in the hours after returning home from a dinner at the country club on March 7. They were found clothed in their sleepwear. Authorities have been careful not to disclose too many details about the case and the official cause of death by the county coroner's office has still not been released.
Dudek said he can say for sure that investigators don't believe the killings were random.
"We're still working on it 24/7," he said.
Authorities have been focusing on the couple's son, Ernest "Skip" Scherer III as of late. It was revealed a couple weeks ago that the sheriff's department seized a red Chevy Camaro for forensic investigation, but officials haven't confirmed whether that car belongs to Scherer III, which DMV records show him owning a vehicle of that description. Sheriff's deputies said they have served a search warrant on the son's home in Brea, Calif., searching it on March 22, the day funeral services were held for the couple in Pleasanton.
"It's not just the son (we're looking into)," Dudek said. "There are still other people who have not been cleared yet."
The possible leads investigators are exploring focus on the life of Scherer Jr. and not Abendroth, who was a beloved professor at Cal State East Bay for over three decades. Scherer Jr. was a former school board member in San Ramon who was recalled. Just days before his death, he was preparing to file paperwork against the school district's attempt at a parcel tax. In addition to education, Scherer Jr. was interested in the game of poker and investment in real estate. Scherer III is a professional poker player with career earnings of over $300,000. While investigators have said they don't believe Scherer Jr. had any poker debts, they have declined to answer whether the son did.