Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, pictured, said William George Bundy disappeared 35 years ago, when he was 19 years old. NBC's Phil Rogers reports.
DNA evidence identified Victim No. 19 — labeled as such because his was the 19th body removed from the killer's basement — as William George "Bill" Bundy, 39, Sheriff Tom Dart said Tuesday. The body was found in the crawl space of Gacy's house on Dec. 28, 1978.
Bundy had been reported missing on Oct. 27, 1976, and his family always believed that he might have been a victim of Gacy. But the only identification tool available at the time was dental records, and Bundy's records had been destroyed by his retired dentist.
Bundy's brother, Robert, and sister, Laura, who attended the news conference Tuesday, provided comparison DNA to the sheriff's department, which sent it to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.
"Because of all this, Victim Number 19 isn't going to be known as a number anymore," Dart said.
"Closure is great, but my only wish in this particular case would have been that we could have provided some sort of closure for William's mother and father before they passed away," Dart said. "I do hope and pray that Laura and Robert might find some peace and closure with the news today."
Laura Bundy said she believed from the beginning that her brother was a victim of Gacy, who was a construction contractor. Bundy was also a construction worker, and "he was always all over the city," she said.
"When that happened and I found out that Gacy was a contractor, I just knew it," she said.
Dart announced in October that his office had obtained DNA profiles for all of the notorious serial killer's remaining victims and asked that anyone with missing loved ones to come forward to give DNA samples.
After the request, more than 30 people contacted the sheriff's office in hope of matching names to the remaining eight Gacy victims. Four samples came back from the North Texas institute without matches.
Gacy was convicted of murdering 33 young men and boys, most of whom were found buried in the crawl space of his Norwood Park Township home near O'Hare Airport. The former construction contractor was executed in May of 1994.