Coroner Seeks To Identify Victims Of Serial Killer Larry Eyler

Presented By

Bonnie M. Wells

They're the bodies of two young men, possibly from southern Indiana, who were brutally stabbed. Mushroom hunters found them on abandoned farm property near Sumava Resorts on Oct. 18, 1983.

For McCord, whose goal is to have the bodies identified by the end of this year, the endeavor has become personal. He's even given them temporary names -- Adam and Brad.

"They need to be home," McCord said. "Somebody is missing a brother or a son. Family perhaps didn't know where to look."

The unidentified men were victims of Larry Eyler, a Crawfordsville native who confessed to murdering nearly two dozen young men in the Midwest in the early 1980s.

He was dubbed the "Highway Killer" because of where most of his victims' bodies were found -- left in locations between Eyler's two residences in Terre Haute and Chicago.

His path often followed U.S. 41 in Indiana and Interstate 57 in Illinois, McCord said. Five victims have been found in Newton and Jasper counties, all linked to Eyler.

According to information McCord has gathered, Eyler would take victims from southern Indiana and bury them in northern Indiana -- and vice versa -- to avoid detection.

Eyler, who was convicted of murder and other charges in Illinois and Indiana, died while in custody in Illinois of AIDS-related complications in 1994. He was 41 years old.

McCord's undertaking began in January 2009 when, as the newly elected coroner, he asked Newton County officials for a formal office. Before, files were kept by the coroner or stored at the sheriff's department.

"I go in, and the office is just filled with past cases," McCord said. "I come across two banker boxes, and inside are the skeletal remains of victims three and four.

" ... I found an Indiana State Police case number with them, and called to have it checked out. That linked them to Larry Eyler."

Those victims were among four bodies found buried in shallow graves in northern Newton County on Oct. 19, 1983, near Indiana 10 and the Kankakee River. All of them were stabbed multiple times.

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This page posted: 3-1-10 // BMW