Family finds closure with newly ID’d remains from estate of serial killer Herb Baumeister
Family of Fox Hollow Farm victim finally gets closure
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Allen Livingston was 27 years old when he disappeared in 1993.
Thirty years later, his family finally knows what happened to him.
The former Indianapolis man’s family did not want to speak with I-Team 8 on camera. But, the family members say, his identification by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office has been a roller coaster of emotions, with sadness and relief at the same time.
The family members say they always knew Livingston was one of men whose bodies were at the Fox Hollow Farm estate in Westfield. The family members say they just didn’t have proof until their DNA recently was matched to one of the 10,000 bone fragments found on the property of Herb Baumeister.
Baumeister killed himself shortly after police served a search warrant on his property in 1996. The founder of the Save-A-Lot thrift store chain was under investigation in the early 1990s for murdering over a dozen men, most of whom were last seen at gay bars.
The Livingston family’s phone call to Hamilton County Coroner Jeff Jellison was what started their journey to finally getting Livingston identified.
Jellison said, “Huge win, but we can’t take a lot of time celebrating that.”
They can’t do much celebrating of Livingston’s identification because of how much more work is left to do.
The coroner said, “10,000 remains. How many people that is I think the number is going to be surprisingly high by the time we get done with. There is no doubt in my mind that that incident will rank with some of the most prolific, horrific, serial killings in this nation.”
The biggest challenge the team of scientists working on the bone fragments faces is that the bodies were all burned and crushed, two things that can destroy DNA in a bone.
The coroner said, “Some of these fragments just absolutely will not produce DNA for the experts in the lab. There’s just no chance of that,”
However, the team won’t stop trying to identify every single piece. “There is no end. Someday, I’m not going to be coroner anymore and I hope the next coroner continues and I hope the technology that he has available to him he’ll be able to work on those ones that we felt like weren’t good candidates today.”
The team working on the bones has found four different DNA strands that still need to be matched to people. To do that, family members of people who went missing in the 1980s and early 1990s need to submit cheek swabs to provide DNA samples.
The Livingston family members say they encourage people missing loved ones for decades to go through the process because they’ve experienced the benefits and closure.
To learn more, contact the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.