“They deserved to be somewhere as opposed to on a shelf…” Two unidentified victims from Larry Eyler case provided proper burial

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Whenever someone says the words cold case most people want to know more. Especially when that cold case involves murder right here in the Wabash Valley.

It seems nothing catches the attention of most people like a serial killer or a missing child. Well, this story involves both.

In the early 1980’s the evening news in Terre Haute was filled with reports about Larry Eyler.

Eyler was responsible for the grisly murders of 22 young men.

The Indiana State University student lured the men with money or drugs, then tied them up and gutted them like animals.

Of those victims, two still remain unidentified.

Scott McCord, Newton County Coroner, has the skeletal remains of those two victims safely stored in infant caskets in his office.

33-years-ago the two male bodies were found in a vacant lot in Lake Village. No one ever stepped forward to take them home.

McCord has spent the last eight years trying to put a name to the remains. He’s gotten anthropological studies done, DNA performed and facial reconstruction.

He has even had detailed composites by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children done and they have been shared on national and statewide data bases.

Still, no luck.

“Both kids were picked up here in Terre Haute, we know that so somebody here has to know them. Somebody saw them, somebody met them,” said McCord. “It’s just a matter of striking the note with someone and they remember.”

So, we took Scott with us as we did our own investigation.

We talked to Vigo County Sheriff officials who remember the Larry Eyler murder case and we hit the pavement at Indiana State University; hoping one if not both boys were ISU students at the time of their murder.

Retired professors like Dr. Larry Reck agreed to talk to us and study the composites, even do a little digging of their own.

“I would photograph all my students so the second time they came to class I would know them by names,” Reck told News 10. “I really checked and he was not in the photos or yearbooks…”

Our hope and McCord’s mission is that someone will see these faces and identify them.

“It’s mind boggling that there’s not a parent or brother or sister or somebody out there who’s looking for their loved one…” McCord said.

McCord is retiring at the end of this year but he says he’ll continue to search for answers in this cold case.

But, he needed to give what he calls his boys a proper burial.

In late October, with the help of the Newton County Community, he laid the boys to rest. A local funeral home donated their time to transport the bodies and area high school students volunteered as pall bearers.

Then, their remains were placed in a donated crypt.

“They deserved to be somewhere as opposed to on a shelf atop of my filing cabinets in my office…” McCord explained.

Everyone in this small rural community still hoping some day they can get the boys home.

Please, if you think you have information on the identity of either males, let us know.

You can call Scott McCord in his office at (219) 285-2515 and even leave him a message on his machine. You can also email him at coroner@embarqmail.com.

Or, you are more than welcome to call us at News 10 at (812) 232-4953.

Remember, all it will take is a quick DNA match to send these boys home!