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Remains of serial killer victim missing since 1993 finally identified

Manuel Resendez, who was reported missing in August 1993 (Hamilton County Coroner’s Office)
Manuel Resendez, who was reported missing in August 1993 (Hamilton County Coroner’s Office)

The remains of a man found at the Indiana home of serial killer Herb Baumeister have been identified after nearly three decades.

The West Hamilton County Coroner's Office announced on Thursday it had identified another set of the remains discovered at Fox Hollow Farm in Indiana.

The coroner said that the remains were those of Manuel Resendez, who was 34 years old when he was reported missing in 1993, according to NBC News.

Investigators were able to identify his remains thanks to a sample that his family members provided early last year.

His are among the nearly 10,000 pieces of human remains found on Baumeister's farm.

In 2022, the corner's office renewed its effort to identify the remains and began asking relatives of young men who disappeared during Baumeister's active period to submit DNA samples.

Baumeister is believed to have visited gay bars with the intention of luring men back to his home, where he allegedly killed them. Law enforcement has linked him to at least 16 men who vanished since 1980.

After human remains were discovered on his estate, Baumeister died by suicide. Police were never able to question him about the remains.

Baumeister was implicated by a man named Tony Harris, who told police he met him in a gay bar in 1993. He said at the time that he was nearly a victim of Baumeister.

Mr Harris told investigators at the time that he met Baumeister, who called himself "Brian Smart", and the men spent an evening getting to know each other before they went home together.

After returning to the Fox Hollow property, the men began to have sex, and Baumeister allegedly tried to strangle Mr Harris with a pool hose during intercourse. Mr Harris said he pretended to pass out, which dropped Baumeister's guard long enough for him to escape the property.

Mr Harris's friend, Roger Goodlet, had disappeared around the same time. He believes Mr Harris was one of Baumeister's victims.

The renewed identification effort yielded fruit in October 2023 when one set of remains were identified as those of Allen Livingston. Mr Livingston disappeared in 1993 at 27-years-old.

Eric Pranger, Mr Livingston's cousin, drove the effort to re-open the investigation into his disappearance.

He told NBC News that learning about Mr Livingston's fate was "a roller coaster of feelings".

“We’re happy because we got closure and we were able to identify him, but sad because we had to relive it a bit,” he said.