(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A North Carolina man who moved to Chicago in the 1970s has been identified as one of the victims of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men and boys in the 1970s and was executed in 1994.
On Monday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced they had identified the remains of Francis Wayne Alexander.
Investigators believe Alexander would have been 21 or 22 years old when he was killed by Gacy. However, authorities do not have an exact date of the killing.
“It was the typical painstaking work of finding out when Wayne was last seen. Tax records, parking tickets. That we were able to put this all together, along with the DNA,” said Sheriff Tom Dart.
In a statement, Alexander’s sister, Carolyn Sanders, thanked the Sheriff’s office for giving the family some level of closure.
“It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man. Our hearts are heavy, and our sympathies go out to the other victims’ families,” Sanders wrote.
His family never reported him missing. They assumed he wanted to be left alone.
Alexander’s remains were among the 26 sets that were found in the crawlspace of Gacy’s suburban Chicago home.
In 2011, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office exhumed the bodies of eight victims, including Alexander’s, that were unidentified at the time.
Alexander is the third body to have been identified in the decade since.
“When we reopened the case we were not contacted by any family or friends. That’s why genetic genealogy was very important here. We would not have known about him,” said Cook County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Jason Moran.
Very little is known about Alexander. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the last known record of his life was a speeding ticket he received in Chicago in January of 1976.
It’s not clear when he crossed paths with Gacy. Though authorities did say he lived in an area Gacy was known to hunt for victims.