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FEDS UNEARTH CORPSES OF 2 MISSING MEN CANOGA PARK RESIDENTS FOUND BURIED IN DESERT.

Byline: Jason Kandel and Ryan Oliver Staff Writers

The search for two young Israeli men believed to have been kidnapped from their Canoga Park home in December came to an end Monday after FBI agents discovered two bodies in a shallow desert grave, officials said.

The location of the grave in a remote area northeast of Barstow was disclosed by one of the three people arrested earlier this month in connection with the kidnapping of Adar Neeman and Ben Wertzberger, both 25.

``An individual that was arrested and charged with kidnapping gave us the information,'' FBI spokeswoman Laura Bosley said. ``We acted upon the information that led directly to the bodies.''

The two bodies were taken to the San Bernardino County Medical Examiner's Office for examination and verification of their identities, Bosley said.

Suspects Shane Ronald Huang, 34, of Canoga Park, Benjamin Frandsen, 29, of Los Angeles and Ora Vossen, 38, are all being held in federal custody on kidnapping charges. Bosley said investigators are considering murder charges after the discovery of the bodies Sunday.

``Based on the identification of the bodies and additional investigation, additional charges are possible,'' she said.

The kidnappings apparently involved drugs Wertzberger supposedly stole from Huang, authorities said.

Before the discovery of the bodies, court documents filed by the FBI in the kidnapping case had offered signs the friends met with foul play after supposedly heading to Las Vegas on Dec. 2 to mix music for a New Year's Eve bash.

On Dec. 3, someone - maybe Wertzberger - tried using Neeman's credit card to charge more than $8,000 worth of computer equipment at a Best Buy store in Las Vegas, the documents said. The purchase was denied.

And Wertzberger's abandoned Chevrolet Cavalier was found Dec. 5, parked illegally near a Las Vegas police station. The keys were in the ignition, and the friends' luggage and stereo equipment were still inside.

According to thee court documents, Huang had met Wertzberger and Neeman in a club and eventually threatened them with a knife and a 3-foot sword and kidnapped them because he thought Wertzberger was stealing marijuana from a crop he was growing in a specially equipped room in his Canoga Park house.

Frandsen was also involved in threatening the friends, the affidavit said, while Vossen tried to intimidate the victims by calling their families in Israel.

Attorneys for Huang and Vossen maintain their clients are innocent. A lawyer for Frandsen could not be located.

Wertzberger and Neeman were friends since high school in Israel and shared a love of music, as well as a dream of coming to Los Angeles and working as disc jockeys at dance clubs, their friends said.

Jason Kandel, (818) 713-3664

jason.kandel(at)dailynews.com

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(1) NEEMAN

(2) WERTZBERGER
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 23, 2003
Words:463
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