DNA test confirms serial killer victim's body misidentified
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- 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.
in focus, ted oberg
- Texans fire head coach Gary Kubiak 4 min ago
- South Africans mourn, celebrate Mandela
- Winter Weather Advisory issued for northern counties
- Texans fall to Jags for 11th straight loss
- Live: Watch Eyewitness News live now
- 5 Things to Know for Today
- Shots fired during armored car robbery on UH campus
- Live: ESPN: 2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw
- President Obama remarks on passing of Mandela
- Reaction to passing of Nelson Mandela
- How Mandela changed everything with a rugby jersey
- Ice storm in North Texas cuts power to more than 250K
- Instead of drive-thru breakfast, couple gets bag of cash
- Worker dies in trench collapse in NW Harris County