Two more victims of the inferno that leveled the Mount Carmel compound were indentified late Friday, and a McLennan County justice of the peace refuted reports that investigators may be closing in on identifying cult leader Vernon Howell’s body.
Justice of the Peace David Pareya said Stephen Henry, 26, died of smoke inhalation, extensive charring and a near-contact gunshot wound to the forehead.
Livingston Mike Malcolm, also 26, died of smoke inhalation, extensive charring and a possible gunshot wound.
Henry was found in the cafeteria area, Pareya said, while Malcom was found in the chapel area.
Pareya said the aid of the British consulate was required to help identify the victims.
Meanwhile, CBS News was reporting that federal authorities are saying they may have singled out the body of Howell, also known as David Koresh, from personal possessions found around it.
Pareya said as of 10:35 p.m. Friday, “there has been no identification of a body that would tell us that it is of Mr. Koresh.”
In regards to Howell’s reported possessions being found around, Pareya said, “Where that started, I don’t know.”
If Howell’s body is identified, that information will be sent to a local justice, who will release the information.
At the scene Friday, Texas Rangers preparing to close down the site for the weekend knocked down the cement bunker that was the last upright remnant of the Branch Davidian compound.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Laureen Chernow told reporters at an afternoon press briefing that the structure was bulldozed because its condition had deteriorated so severely.
She said structural beams in the middle of the roof had becomes detached, making it unsafe. The structure, which sat within the base of the compound’s watch tower, suffered fire damage and was strengthened by clamps once by Texas Rangers at the scene.
Authorities pulled 32 of 72 bodies accounted for so far from inside the bunker, while another nine were found on top of it. Only nine Branch Davidians escaped the inferno that consumed the Mount Carmel compound April 19.
Rangers, along with state and federal lab technicians and officials, have been sifting through the rubble since the cinders were cool enough to allow searches to begin. Friday, a line of 20 DPS troopers began a close inspection of the 77-acre property where the compound once sat while others searched through outbuildings for more evidence.
Chernow said activity will largely cease over the weekend, allowing Rangers to catch up with their paperwork. He said troopers will turn their attention to the compound’s underground tunnel system early next week.
Troopers say four bodies of those killed in the original Feb. 28 raid by federal agents are down there, covered with the water that has seeped in from rains as well as by human filth and garbage thrown down there by cult members during the siege.
Meanwhile, a supermarket tabloid found itself in trouble with a survivor of the fire.
David Thibodeau and his attorney, Gary Richardson, told reporters that they will sue the National Enquirer because while the paper quoted Thibodeau extensively, he never talked to anyone from that newspaper.
The Enquirer ran a three page story about the end of the siege in its May 4 edition entitles “Waco survivors reveal what really happened in final hours of Cult Suicide Horror.”
The story cites Thibodeau’s name, either quoting him or something he told a family member, eight times. The story also cites former cult member Ian Manning once and relies on unnamed sources for the rest of the story.