Dec 20, 2013 11:02 AM by Shannon Newth
GREAT FALLS - Robert Hutton, once presumed to be a victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy has been found alive in Stevensville, Montana.
In April 2013, law enforcement officials confirmed that Hutton has been reported missing in 1972 in the midst of Gacy's killing spree.
Hutton was found living in Stevensville and is now being reunited with his family.
He was 21-years-old at the time he was reported missing, while traveling from New York to California.
Law enforcement officials closed the case of his disappearance after several years, but in 2011, the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois reopened the investigation into unidentified victims of Gacy.
Hutton's sister suggested Robert as someone who possibly encountered Gacy during his travels.
Gacy killed 33 people and was executed in 1994.
Since the case was reopened, seven missing persons cases have been closed.
Five of those people were found alive - including Hutton.
The other two had died earlier of natural causes.
Also as a result of the investigation, two cold cases unrelated to Gacy have been solved.
Here is information from the Cook County Sheriff's press release:
At the request of Sheriff Dart, detectives expedited the Hutton lead due to how closely he fit the profile consistent with many of Gacy's victims. Hutton was in the right age range (late teens or early 20s) and a hitchhiker who often traveled via bus, a demographic Gacy often preyed upon. He also presumably would have passed through Chicago in the midst of Gacy's killing spree. Additionally, he worked in construction doing cement work - Gacy was known to lure many of his victims by first hiring them for freelance construction work.
The Sheriff's Office investigation traced a man with the same identifiers as Robert Hutton to a location in Colorado. However, upon sending local law enforcement to the home, Sheriff Dart's Gacy detective learned that the man had since moved.
Later, the detective located the same man living in rural Montana. In April 2013, the detective again requested that local law enforcement authorities visit the man, who confirmed he was the same Robert Hutton who had gone missing in 1972.
At the request of Hutton, Sheriff's Police have since reunited him with his sister and father. Hutton has visited with his father several times, with plans to visit in-person with his sister as well.