Couple Found in Swiss Glacier Disappeared 75 Years Ago

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Swiss Glacier

Police in Switzerland say frozen remains recently found on a melting glacier belong to a Swiss couple who disappeared in the Alps nearly 75 years ago.

Authorities have officially identified the bodies found Friday on the Tsanfleuron glacier as Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, victims of what police have said was likely an accident that occurred decades ago. The husband and wife were 40 and 37 years old, respectively, when they went missing.

The Dumoulins, parents of seven, reportedly disappeared on Aug. 15, 1942, after they had gone to feed their cattle in a meadow above Chandolin, a village in the Swiss canton of Valais.

“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping,” their youngest daughter, Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, told Le Matin, a paper in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The 79-year-old’s father – a shoemaker by trade – and her mother, a teacher, had set off on foot to tend to their animals but never returned home. Now, they can be given the funeral they deserve, she said.

“Mom and Dad will finally have their burial,” Udry-Dumoulin told the paper.

A worker with Glacier 3000, a cable car and ski-lift company, came across the couple at an altitude of 8,580 feet. Officials recovered the bodies and sent the remains and a number of objects – including a backpack, watch and book – for forensic analysis, according to police.

Bernhard Tschannen, director of Glacier 3000, told local media the bodies were perfectly preserved, and that he believes the couple may have fallen into a crevasse where they remained for decades, according to Reuters.

“The bodies were lying near each other. It was a man and a woman wearing clothing dating from the period of World War II,” Tschannen said.

Swiss regional police have a list of more than 200 missing people dating to 1925, according to The Associated Press. Authorities explained that bodies of long-missing people regularly surface from glaciers receding as a result of climate change.

For Udry-Dumoulin, the discovery represents closure and answers to long-held questions.

She said she plans to wear white to her parent’s funeral – a testament to the hope she never lost.

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