“…I knew there was really something wrong…” Mother of Larry Eyler victim speaks out after 33 years


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Larry Eyler was a serial killer with Wabash Valley ties. The Indiana State University student confessed to killing 22 young men between 1982 and 1984.

Two of Eyler’s victims were picked up from Terre Haute, their bodies dumped in Newton County, Indiana.

33 years later, they are still unidentified.

But now, we have a different story. A story through the eyes of a mother who still searches for justice.

77-year-old Barbara Agan of Terre Haute has lived through more tragedy than most can imagine. Barbara has buried all three of her children at a cemetery in Terre Haute.

The family’s first born, Steven Agan, was taken from them at the young age of 23. Murdered by a serial killer named Larry Eyler.

“Steve just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Barbara explained. “I think he knew him just well enough to say ‘Hey do you want a ride?’”

Barbara says Steven was jogging home from the bowling alley on a warm December Sunday. Larry Eyler worked just a few blocks from the Agan’s family car wash in Terre Haute.

On Dec. 18, 1982 Larry offered Steven a ride, but never took him home.

“After a day or so I knew there was really something wrong…”

Steven’s body was found in a wooded area near Highway 63, not far from Newport in Vermillion County. He had been handcuffed, blindfolded and gagged.

His abdomen and chest sliced open and horizontal gashes to his throat and gut.

“I went back to the funeral home. I wanted to see him but they wouldn’t let me see him because he was in too bad of shape,” Barbara said. “He said it was worse than any car wreck victim they’d ever had because they actually just split him open…”

It has been nearly 34 years since the Agan’s laid their son to rest. Barbara is quick to tell you Steven was fun-loving, kind and very family oriented.

She’s also quick to admit she does not hate anyone for her loss.

“For the sake of my own sanity I do forgive him. And at the same time, Larry Eyler had a mother she was losing a son too.”

Eyler confessed to Agan’s brutal murder in an attempt to avoid the death penalty. He admitted to 21 other killings in written confessions released after his death in prison.

Giving closure to families desperately needing answers.

But there are still two victims without a name. Two victims without a home.

We showed Barbara Agan the pictures of the two unidentified victims. This mother can’t imagine families not searching for their loved one.

“Somebody knows they are missing. They loved them when they were born and I don’t know why they don’t love them now and bring them home.”

Through all the tragedy and heartache, Barbara Agan was able to bring her son home. She says it brings closure knowing they found him.

Knowing he’s buried by other loved ones; knowing where he is. And through her loss, this extremely strong woman can perhaps teach us all a lesson.

“I guess the good Lord just gives you strength and you just go through it.”

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!