HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (TCD) -- A man who went missing in 1993 was positively identified this week and named as the likely victim of a suspected serial killer who died in 1996.
WTHR-TV reports Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison announced Allen Livingston’s remains were identified thanks to a DNA sample a relative provided to investigators near the end of 2022.
Livingston, 27, was reported missing in 1993. His bones were among the thousands of remains found at Fox Hollow Farm, which was once owned by suspected killer Herb Baumeister.
Jellison told WTHR, "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."
Baumeister reportedly targeted gay men in Indianapolis during the 1980s and ’90s.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Livingston’s mother, Sharon Livingston, has terminal cancer, so Livingston’s cousin helped send the mother’s DNA to authorities. The cousin, Eric Pranger, told the Indianapolis Star he was "happy and sad at the same time" after learning Livingston was positively identified.
He said, "Happy because Sharon 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 relatives sent in the DNA after Jellison called on relatives who believed their loved ones could have been among Baumeister’s victims. The Indianapolis Star reports there were remains from at least 25 people found in 1996 at Fox Hollow Farm, but officials had only been able to identify eight of them until now.
Not all of the victims had been buried at Fox Hollow Farm. Other men, who were only partially clothed, were reportedly found in shallow water in Central Indiana and Ohio around the same time Baumeister was believed to have been targeting his victims.
The Associated Press reports Livingston’s remains were the first bones out of 44 sent to the Indiana State Police Laboratory. Thirty other families have sent in samples in the hope their loved ones will be identified.
Jellison said, "What are the odds, out of 10,000 remains? Out of 10,000, we selected 44 and the first identification is a person from the family that initiated this whole thing. Where does that come from?"
According to WXIN-TV, Baumeister’s son discovered a skull on June 24, 1996, while walking on the large property. He reportedly showed it to his mother, but she said Baumeister just kept it as part of his medical business. Days later, Hamilton County firefighters located additional remains at the farm.
Baumeister and his wife were reportedly in the middle of divorcing when their son found the skull. On June 25, 1996, a judge approved a protective order Baumeister’s wife filed on behalf of her and her three kids, WXIN reports.
Then, a few days later, Baumeister fled to Canada and killed himself.
WTHR reports Jellison said Livingston’s identification is "no more or no less important than number two, number three, number 10. We’ve got to continue to put our nose back to that grindstone, get back to work."