Medical examiners have identified the remains of about 20 more Branch Davidians, some of whom may have been children and high-ranking members of the cult.
McLennan County Justice of the Peace David Pareya said the names of those identified will be released today at a press conference, pending the notification of the next of kin.
Pareya would not confirm or deny if authorities have identified the remains of Howell’s top lieutenant, Steve Schneider.
Six cultists, including cult leader Vernon Howell, have been named to the official list of those who died April 19 when a blaze swept through Mount Carmel. Medical examiners say Howell and several of his followers died from gunshot wounds, while others died from smoke inhalation.
Children “might be” named for the first time today, he said. Authorities are trying to identify some children through their personal effects because of a lack of birth certificates and dental records, Pareya said.
And the number of bodies discovered in the rubble of the compound — 72 — may change. Pareya said that at least three body bags from the scene contain body parts belonging to someone else, meaning the number recovered could decrease.
The meshing of bodies and layers of ruble may have mixed some of the remains so officials “couldn’t tell what was what,” he said.
Howell, also known as David Koresh, told authorities during the 51-day standoff between the cult and the FBI that 85 followers remained inside the compound.
Pareya said that either the fire destroyed some of the bodies or the number of people inside was wrong.
Other bodies accounted for so far include:
- David Jones, 38.
- Shari Doyle, 18.
- James Loyle Riddle, Jr., 32.
- Stephen Henry, 26.
- Livingston Mike Malcolm, 26.