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John Wayne Gacy Probe Reveals Fate of Missing Man

He was murdered, but not by Chicago's 'killer clown'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 2:01 AM CDT
John Wayne Gacy Probe Reveals Fate of Missing Man
Dr. Willa Wertheimer speaks at a news conference accompanied by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart in Chicago yesterday.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

(Newser) – The effort to identify all of John Wayne Gacy's victims has solved another decades-old disappearance, and while it isn't exactly a happy ending, Andy Drath's relatives now know that he wasn't murdered by the notorious serial killer. Drath was 16 when he was last heard from in Illinois in 1978, and DNA submitted as part of the Gacy probe helped investigators discover that he was "John Doe No. 89," who was shot dead in San Francisco in 1979, CNN reports. His half-sister, Dr. Willa Wertheimer, submitted her DNA to the Gacy investigation because he fit the profile of the Chicago killer's dozens of victims.

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"You should never lose hope in finding your loved one," Wertheimer said in a release issued by the office of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, per the Los Angeles Times. "He could still be living, or at least your heart can know the peace of bringing him home." John Doe No. 89, she says, "now will come home to his kid sister with his own name—Andy." Now that Drath has been identified, authorities in San Francisco are taking another look at the cold case in the hope of finding the killer, CNN reports. The identities of seven of Gacy's 33 known victims are still unknown. (The probe has found five missing people alive, including a man in Montana who lost touch with his family after getting "caught up in the '70s lifestyle.")

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