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Cadaver dogs search for remains at former home of suspected serial killer

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — Nearly a dozen cadaver dogs spent Sunday combing through a yard as officials hope to identify a serial killer’s victims.

Herb Baumeister was the suspect in a series of killings when he took his own life in 1996. Authorities believe he lured young men to his Westfield home in the 1980s and 1990s and murdered them there. The property’s current owner, Robert Graves, told News 8 this is the first time since he bought the property 15 years ago anyone has searched it with cadaver dogs.

“We don’t go looking for the bones, but they do turn up and I take them down to the University of Indianapolis,” he said.

Hamilton County Coroner elect Jeff Jellison said crews did not unearth any new remains on Sunday but have logged the sites where the dogs located them. He said investigators will consult with law enforcement and the University of Indianapolis, which performed the original identifications, about how best to proceed. Graves said he hopes Sunday’s search helps families of missing men find some closure. He said anyone who has a missing relative from that period should provide a DNA sample to aid the identification process.

The search is likely prompted by a recent resurgence of the case and new information spearheaded by the new Hamilton County coroner. Twenty-six years ago, investigators recovered the fragmented bones of eleven men on the property but they were only able to identify eight of the men. However, authorities now believe new DNA technology may reveal that the victim count is more than double what was thought.

Jellison shared thoughts but didn’t detail why this investigation took so long to pick back up. “Our office didn’t quite have the manpower to do that. I tell people these people were forgotten, but they’re not forgotten any longer,” he said.

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