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Suspected 9th Victim of Indiana Serial Killer Who Targeted Gay Men Identified
"We identified a man that was reported missing 30 years ago whose remains were part of 10,000 remains that were burnt and crushed," the Hamilton County Coroner said after Allen Livingston's remains were identified.
Previously unknown remains believed to belong to a victim of a suspected serial killer who targeted young gay men in Indiana have been identified, according to authorities.
A bone that was found on Herbert Baumeister’s Fox Hollow Farm property in the city of Westfield in 1996 has been identified with forensic genealogy as belonging to Allen Livingston, who disappeared three decades ago at age 27, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said.
The match was made after Livingson’s mother provided a DNA swab to investigators, following the county coroner reopening the investigation last year, according to CBS News. Livingston, who vanished in 1993, is the ninth presumed victim of Baumeister, who terrorized Indianapolis in the 1980s and 1990s.
"We identified a man that was reported missing 30 years ago whose remains were part of 10,000 remains that were burnt and crushed, and we identified that person," Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison said, WTHR reported. "Honestly, yeah, there were some high fives, but it very quickly turned to the stark reality, we had another murder victim, and then, there were some tears."
Livingston’s family had actively pushed Jellison’s office to re-examine the case last year. Livingston vanished the exact same day as Manuel Resendez, another suspected victim of Baumeister, whose remains were also uncovered at the alleged serial killer’s property.
It’s believed Baumeister killed as many as 11 gay men in the Indianapolis area in the early 1990s. The Indiana businessman was married with children but led a secret double life and spent his free time hunting his victims in gay bars. He drew law enforcement scrutiny after his own son found a human skull in the family’s backyard.
Baumeister was never convicted. On July 3, 1995, Baumeister was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound near Toronto after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to WXIN.
Approximately 10,000 unidentified human remains were later recovered from Beaumeister’s Fox Hollow Farm. A preliminary investigation would reveal the remains of eight people, as well as three additional DNA sets that were left unidentified. Livingston’s are the first to be identified in more than two decades.
Due to Baumeister’s suicide, justice was elusive for many of his victims’ families, Livingston’s included. Since his death, the investigation into identifying his unknown victims has largely been dormant.
The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office has also revealed they’ve been able to come up with four more DNA profiles from remains found on the property and are working to match them to samples given by relatives of others who went missing.
Officials said they’ll continue to comb through the thousands of remains available in the case in efforts to identify other victims of Baumeister.
"Just because we got one, yeah, we're thankful and we celebrated, but it's no more or no less important than number two, number three, number 10, and we've got to continue to put our nose back to that grindstone, get back to work," Jellison added.
Jellison estimated there could be upwards of 25 victims amongst the thousands of bones found at Baumeister’s.
“We don’t know what happened,” Jellison said. “We don’t know how far his reach was... I used to say 20, 25 just like you mentioned, but I’m not going to stick to that number any longer.”
Livingston’s relatives said the news was long-awaited but also bittersweet.
"I'm happy and sad at the same time," Eric Pranger, Livingston's cousin, told WTHR. "[I'm] happy because [Allen’s mother] got some closure, and I'm sad because we got confirmation that it's Allen. We were all just hoping that Allen was out there alive somewhere, but he's not."
Livingston’s family had long-suspected Baumeister’s involvement in his death.
"I know he's there," the victim's mom, Sharon Livingston, said last year of Fox Hollow Farm, WTHR reported. "I know he's there. I know that man got him. I just know it. I feel that. I know.”