Officials identify remains found at Indiana farm in 1983 as Chicago teen slain by late serial killer

Jul 25, 2023, 1:21 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2023, 12:18 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Human remains found buried in 1983 at an abandoned Indiana farm have been identified as those of a Chicago teenager who was a victim of the late serial killer Larry Eyler, authorities said Tuesday.

The remains, which were found near the remains of three young men Eyler also killed, are those of Keith Lavell Bibbs, who was 16 when he died, according to the Newton County Coroner’s Office and the DNA Doe Project.

Eyler confessed to at least 20 killings before dying in 1994 at an Illinois prison, where he was on death row for the 1984 murder of 15-year-old Danny Bridges of Chicago.

In 1990, Eyler confessed to killing a Black male in July 1983 at a Newton County farm and described that male as being in his late teens or early 20s, said Pam Lauritzen, spokeswoman for the DNA Doe Project, a nonprofit that works to identify cold case victims.

Bibbs, who was a Chicago resident, would have been 16 at the time of his death, she said.

The Newton County Coroner’s Office worked with the DNA Doe Project, Indiana State Police and the Identify Indiana Initiative to identify Bibbs nearly 40 years after his remains were discovered.

He is the last to be positively identified of the four victims found buried in shallow graves in October 1983 at the abandoned farm in Lake Village, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) southeast of Chicago. All four had been drugged and murdered by Eyler, according to his confessions.

Newton County Coroner Scott McCord said he was working Tuesday on paperwork needed to get Bibbs’ remains sent to his relatives for burial. He said the family is requesting privacy while they grieve.

“Everything’s done except for getting him back home,” he told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “It’s been a long road getting all those kids identified.”

The DNA Doe Project said in a news release that Bibbs’ DNA was “highly degraded” and investigators spent more than two years repeatedly trying to create “a workable DNA profile” to compare to databases used for forensic cases. In January, the nonprofit said a team of investigative genetic genealogists had finally made progress unraveling Bibbs’ “complex family tree,” leading to his identification.

Two of Eyler’s four victims found buried at the farm were identified early in the investigation as Michael Bauer and John Bartlett. In April 2021, the coroner’s office announced that authorities had identified a third victim as John Ingram Brandenburg Jr. of Chicago, leaving only Bibbs’ body unidentified at that time.

In December 2021, authorities announced that the body of another of Eyler’s victims found at a different site in rural northwestern Indiana had been identified as 19-year-old William Joseph Lewis of Peru, Indiana.

Lewis’ body was also found in October 1983, but in a Jasper County field, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Chicago. He was last seen alive in 1982 by his family at a friend’s funeral in Houston, Texas, officials said.

National News

Associated Press

Jury convicts man with ties to ‘boogaloo’ movement in 2020 killing of federal security officer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man with ties to the “boogaloo” extremist movement was convicted of murder and attempted murder by a federal jury Tuesday in the 2020 killing of a federal security officer in Northern California during protests against police brutality. Robert Alvin Justus Jr., 33, now faces life in prison for the murder […]

11 minutes ago

Associated Press

Georgia police arrest pair for selling nitrous oxide in balloons after concert

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia police officer has arrested two people for selling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. An Athens-Clarke County officer made the arrests Thursday, the Athens Banner-Herald reports, after spotting people milling around with balloons following a concert in downtown Athens. The officer observed that the people were holding the balloons closed […]

27 minutes ago

Associated Press

Delaware trooper facing felony charges involving assaults on teens after doorbell prank at his house

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware State Trooper is facing several felony charges involving a brutal assault on a teenager who targeted the trooper’s house in a prank. An indictment issued Monday against Trooper Dempsey R. Walters, 29, includes the first use by prosecutors of a new felony deprivation of civil rights law that was […]

51 minutes ago

Associated Press

Revised report on Maryland church sex abuse leaves 5 church leaders’ names still redacted

BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s attorney general released some previously redacted names in its staggering report on child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Tuesday, but the names of five Catholic Church leaders remained redacted amid ongoing appeals, prompting criticism of the church by victims’ advocates. While the names of the high-ranking church leaders […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Tech CEO honored by Forbes was fatally attacked at a Baltimore apartment complex, police say

BALTIMORE (AP) — The founder of a Baltimore tech startup, whose professional accomplishments earned her a spot on a Forbes 30 under 30 list earlier this year, was found dead after being reported missing late Monday morning, according to city police. Pava LaPere, 26, had suffered from blunt force trauma, police said. Officials released her […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

DeSantis purposely dismantled a Black congressional district, attorney says as trial over map begins

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — On the same day Alabama Black voters scored a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal trial opened in Florida in which lawyers say Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis violated the U.S. Constitution by deliberately dismantling a congressional district that favored Black candidates. It’s one of several lawsuits around the country […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Officials identify remains found at Indiana farm in 1983 as Chicago teen slain by late serial killer