By J. Chess
Remains of Missing Manuel Resendez Identified at Indiana Estate
In a significant breakthrough in a decades-old case, the Hamilton County Coroner, Jeff Jellison, confirmed on Thursday that remains discovered on the Fox Hollow Farm estate in central Indiana belonged to Manuel Resendez, a man who went missing in 1993. Resendez was 34 years old at the time of his disappearance.
Discovery at the Farm
The remains were initially found in 1996 on the estate of Herbert Baumeister, a man suspected of being a serial killer. According to Jellison, approximately 10,000 charred bones and bone fragments have been unearthed on the 18-acre property, located in Westfield, about 16 miles north of Indianapolis.
The identification of Resendez’s remains was made possible through a family reference sample provided in early 2023. Jellison expressed his gratitude to the team of law enforcement and forensic specialists who worked tirelessly to bring closure to this case.
Herbert Baumeister: A Suspected Serial Killer
Baumeister, who took his own life in Canada in July 1996, was a 49-year-old married father of three. Authorities believed that he lured men to his home under the guise of social interaction, only to murder them. By 1999, the authorities had linked Baumeister to the disappearance of at least 16 men since 1980, with several bodies found dumped in shallow streams in rural central Indiana and western Ohio.
Efforts to Identify Other Remains
In 2022, Jellison initiated a renewed effort to identify the charred bones and fragments by requesting relatives of young men who disappeared between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s to provide DNA samples. Investigators surmise that the remains could represent at least 25 people.
The Investigation and Unfolding of Events
The initial investigation began in June 1996 when Baumeister’s 15-year-old son found a human skull about 60 yards from their home. At the time, Baumeister and his wife were in the midst of divorce proceedings. Baumeister’s wife was granted an emergency protective order and custody to keep him away from her and the three children. Baumeister dismissed the discovery of the bones, attributing them to his late father’s medical practice.
In the following days, more remains were found by Hamilton County firefighters, further deepening the mystery. The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office is now urging anyone who believes they are related to a missing person connected to the case to come forward..