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Families of serial killer victims meet after medical examiner misidentifies remains

Dean Corll and two accomplices killed more than two dozen teenage boys in the 70s. Now, the family of one of those victims has learned that the remains they buried so long ago were misidentified and actually belong to another of Corll's victims.
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HOUSTON After nearly 40 years, there s another difficult chapter in the sorrowful story of Houston s worst serial murders.

Dean Corll and two young accomplices killed more than two dozen teenage boys in the Heights back in the 70s. The slayings became known as the Houston Mass Murders.

One of their victims was Mark Scott.

Scott s family found out in April that the remains they were given by the Harris County Medical Examiner s Office weren t those of their loved one. They belonged to another of Corll s victims, Steven Sickman.

Recent DNA tests showed there was a mix-up. Jeff Scott, Mark s brother, said they laid what they believed to be Mark s remains to rest in the 90s. But on Thursday, he was back at the Brookside Funeral Home, just off the Eastex Freeway, to sign papers that would hand those remains over to Sickman s family.

While the DNA test results meant grieving anew for Scott s family, they also meant that Sandy Henrichs search for her stepbrother was over.

It s been my goal since I was 14, to bring him home, said Henrichs. Now here I am, 2011.

Both Scott and Sickman were 17 years old when they died hideous deaths at the hands of Corll and his accomplices.

Corll was known for torturing his victims. They were all young men, mostly teenagers. To date, more than two dozen victims bodies have been found.

From what all has happened, I just don t think I can get numb anymore, said Jeff Scott. Now my mom has to go through this and that really hurts me because I love her very much and she doesn t deserve this.

Scott has very little hope that they ll find his brother now. It s believed Mark was buried on High Island.

The last hurricane we had, destroyed the beach on High Island, said Scott. It s now under water.  We ll probably never find him.

But Scott took comfort knowing that another family s quest was over.

This is closure for you all, but for us, it will bring it right back up, Scott told Henrichs. We thought that was Mark all this time, we had buried him.

As for Henrichs, there was one more thing she had to do Thursday. After visiting the funeral home and picking up the urn with her brother s remains, she went back to the Heights, where she and Steven grew up. 

Henrichs had always hoped she would find her brother alive, and that she d be able to hug him.  Instead, she had her arms wrapped around the urn with his remains, as she walked around their childhood home.

Thirty-nine years that I ve waited to do this and I still have yet to bring him home to mamma, said Henrichs. Her mother now lives out of state. This is killing her.

KHOU 11 News asked the Harris County Medical Examiner how this mix-up happened. A spokesperson said she didn t have the answer to that question, and the person who has that information was out of state at a conference.

But Scott had his own thoughts when he saw a picture of Steven Sickman.

He would have been about the size Mark was, said Jeff Scott. So, that s probably why they got them confused.