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Judge grants woman’s request to exhume Gacy victim

John Wayne Gacy is shown in this 1978 file photo.
John Wayne Gacy is shown in this 1978 file photo.

A mother’s sad saga to determine whether her son was one of serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s victims will continue with the exhumation of a body thought for decades to belong to one of her son’s friends.

A Cook County judge has granted Sherry Marino’s request to conduct DNA tests on the body identified as Kenneth Parker.

Parker and Marino’s son, Michael, were last seen together on the North Side in 1976. Authorities said the teens were among 29 bodies found in a crawlspace under the front door of Gacy’s home in Norwood Park Township.

Still, Sherry Marino believes her son could be alive.

On Wednesday, Judge Rita Novak gave her permission to exhume the body identified as Parker from Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. DNA tests will determine whether the remains actually belong to Michael Marino.

“If not, I think Sherry will continue to search for him,” said her lawyer, Steve Becker.

Becker said he was unable to contact Parker’s family for a DNA sample he could use for a comparison.

In 2011, Novak granted Sherry Marino permission to test the remains of the body in her son’s burial plot in Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside. DNA tests showed she was not the biological mother of that body.

Tragically, she had faithfully visited the grave of that stranger for more than 30 years. She even had bought a plot next to the grave for herself.

Becker, in a court filing, said the mix-up was understandable.

“Given the horrendous conditions under which the evidence technicians were forced to work in excavating the decaying bodies from John Wayne Gacy’s crawlspace, it is only natural that certain bodies and body parts were inadvertently commingled during the extraction, assembly and cataloguing of the corpses,” he said.

One evidence bag, for example, was later found to contain two left arms and another had two right arms, Becker wrote.

Gacy, known as the Killer Clown, was executed in 1994.