HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WXIN) — In 1996, deputies from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office discovered thousands of decomposed and charred remains. Now, the coroner’s office hopes to give names to the victims.
The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said the property the remains were discovered on was owned by Herbert Baumeister. He is suspected of being a serial killer who plagued Indiana and Ohio.
Baumeister is suspected of luring gay men to his home before killing him. Soon after the investigation began, the office said Baumeister died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
After discovering the remains of what the office believes to be at least 25 people, only eight people have been identified. More than two decades later, the office hopes to give names to the remaining people.
“These remains represent people. For the past 26 years, these people have been placed on a shelf at the University of Indianapolis, and that is not acceptable. We need to make every effort possible to identify these people and return them to their loved ones,” said Chief Deputy / Coroner-elect Jeff Jellison.
The office hopes that DNA evidence will be able to aid them in this task. When the investigation first began, DNA was a relatively new tool, expensive and took months to complete. Now, DNA profiling is faster and more user-friendly.
However, to do this, the office will need comparison samples. Nearly 10,000 bones and bone fragments were discovered at Fox Hollow Farms. The office is calling on people with long-missing relatives to come forward.
“If anyone is a family member of a male individual that went missing in the mid 80’s to mid-90’s, we need you to step forward and provide us with a DNA sample,” Jellison said. “The process is quick, simple, and only involves swabbing the inside of the cheek.”
Anyone who believes they are a relative of a missing person who may be connected to this case is asked to contact the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office at 317-770-4415.