Missing Peoria man not a victim of John Wayne Gacy

By WEEK Producer

September 20, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM CDT

CHICAGO -- The fears of a central Illinois family have been calmed after investigators say their son was not a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy when he disappeared in 1978.

The then 21-year-old Peoria man, Daniel Noe, was hitchhiking from Washington state back to Illinois that summer, announced Cook County authorities during a press conference Thursday.

Daniel's parents say hitchhiking wasn't uncommon for their son-- but they never saw or heard from him again.

After filing a missing person's report and sending dental records to numerous police agencies-- the Cook County Sheriff's Office realized Daniel fit Gacy's victim profile.

Authorities tested the samples-- but they did not match any of the unidentified victims in the Gacy case.

However, over 30 years later, his body was discovered in 2010 in Utah and after DNA testing, was confirmed to be the remains of Noe.

The family originally feared his disappearance corresponded with Gacy's killing spree that spanned from 1972 to 1978.

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