Investigators Reopen Case of Indiana Serial Killer’s Victims, Using Advanced DNA Technology

Investigators in Hamilton County, Indiana, have reopened the case of serial killer Herb Baumeister’s victims, nearly 30 years after the gruesome discovery of approximately 10,000 human remains on his property. The Hamilton County Coroner’s office, in collaboration with the FBI, Indiana State Police Laboratory, and DNA experts from Othram Lab, is using advanced DNA technology to identify the remains found at Baumeister’s Fox Hollow Farm in Westfield.

Baumeister, a businessman and married father of three, is believed to have targeted gay teens and young men in central Indiana during the 1980s and 1990s, luring them under the fake name “Brian Smart.” The remains of his victims were found crushed and burned on his 18-acre property.

Recent efforts by the investigative team have led to the identification of three victims: Jeffrey A. Jones, Allen Livingston, and Manuel Resendez. However, four additional DNA profiles discovered at the scene have yet to be matched to any missing persons, suggesting that the total number of Baumeister’s victims may exceed initial estimates.

Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison acknowledged the challenges posed by the condition of the remains, stating, “Because many of the remains were found burnt and crushed, this investigation is extremely challenging; however, the team of law enforcement and forensic specialists working the case remain committed.”

The renewed investigation into Baumeister’s crimes comes after the remaining unidentified bones and bone fragments had been sitting in storage for years. The collaboration between various law enforcement and forensic agencies, coupled with advancements in DNA technology, has given hope to the families of the victims who have waited decades for answers.

Baumeister himself never faced justice for his crimes, as he fled to Ontario, Canada, in 1996 after a warrant was issued for his arrest and took his own life without admitting to any of the murders.

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