DNA test confirms serial killer victim's body misidentified

November 30, 2011 4:05:58 PM PST
There's closure for a family nearly 40 years after their loved one died at the hands of an infamous serial killer.

When Dean Corll's dozens of victims were discovered in 1973, there was confusion and hysteria. Bodies of young men were mistakenly identified. Now, one of those wrongs has finally been righted - Roy Bunton's family knows their brother is gone. But as that mystery ends, the mourning starts.

After 38 years in the ground and 10 months in a forensic science lab, the bones of a serial killer's 1970 victim finally gave up their secret.

"I am very pleased to be able to offer this family answers," Dr. Sharon Derrick said. "Now she won't be looking for him in crowds, she won't be wondering if he came home and no one was home and he left again -- you know, all those things a loved one might do that causes you pain when you think of it."

In the early 1970s, Elmer Wayne Henley and Dean Corll kidnapped, tortured and killed 29 boys, burying them in forests, on beaches and mainly in a boathouse. It's where these remains were discovered and back then wrongly identified as Michael Baluch. Dr. Derrick discovered the error and got a rare judges order 10 months ago to dig up the bones.

After she examined them and tested them for DNA, she made the identification they were the remains of the still missing Roy Eugene Bunton.

Derrick was able to tell his sister the gruesome news.

"She'd always wondered if her brother was a victim of these serial murders," Dr. Derrick said.

Bunton's family is apparently too distraught to talk. Derrick's work goes on.

"We have one more boy that we have not identified," she said.

The 29th victim of Corll's spree - killed decades ago - but never unmourned. His bones were found with a T-shirt with a peace sign. Dr. Derrick has the shirt, DNA from the bones but no match and needs your help.

"We have reason to believe this boy could possibly be a Harman or a French and this insignia has an "F" on the end or an "H" in the middle," Dr. Derrick said.

She thinks the victim might have had a father or brother in the Marines. She particularly wants to hear from families with the last names Harman, Harmon or French who are missing a relative from the 70's.

Police reports suggest those names. He was likely 18 or 19 and went missing in 1970 or '71.The number to call is 713-796-6774.


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