Human remains found on an Indiana farm in 1996 were recently linked to a man who went missing three years earlier and was believed to have been murdered by the suspected serial killer Herbert Baumeister.
This week, the Hamilton county coroner’s office announced the identification of Allen Livingston, 27, ending a mystery that endured for nearly 30 years.
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Livingston’s remains were recovered from Fox Hollow Farm in Westfield, Indiana, an 18-acre property belonging to Baumeister, who investigators believe visited gay bars in Indianapolis in attempts to lure men to his home and murder them.
His remains were among those of at least 25 people on Fox Hollow Farm, the Indy Star reported. However, due to limitations of DNA technology at the time, only eight people could initially be identified.
This week’s identification of Livington made him the ninth confirmed suspected victim of Baumeister.
The same year that the human remains were discovered on his property, Baumeister shot and killed himself in Canada. Baumeister, 49, died before investigators had a chance to question him.
Herbert Baumeister, 49, shot and killed himself before investigators had a chance to question him. Photograph: Indiana State Police
Nevertheless, Livingston’s identification has brought some answers to his family, who had been searching for signs of him since he was reported missing in 1993. His family told Jeff Jellison, the coroner of Hamilton county, Indiana, last year they believed Livingston’s remains were among those on Baumeister’s land.
Investigators re-examined the remains on Baumeister’s property at the request of Livingston’s family. According to Jellison, one of Livingston’s cousins told him that the then missing man’s mother was ailing, and “the family would like to provide her with some closure,” CBS reported.
Jellison asked relatives of young men who went missing between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s to submit DNA samples, according to CBS. At least 30 families have provided DNA samples.
Speaking to the outlet, 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?”
In a press release thanking DNA experts at the Indiana state police laboratory, Jellison added: “The identification of Allen Livingston was the result of the dedication of many forensic experts working collaboratively in an effort to identify nearly 10,000 human remains recovered from Fox Hollow Farm.”
After the identification by the state laboratory, Jellison said he called Livingston’s mother on Monday.
“[It] was an emotional day in our office,” he said, according to CBS. “We identified a person who had been missing for 30 years. That person is likely a murder victim. So our first reaction was to celebrate the success of what we had done, but we very quickly turned to the stark reality that we’ve got another murder victim.”