Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bodies of couple missing for 75 years found in Swiss glacier

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin disappeared in August 1942, but their seven children never gave up hope of finding them.

By Andy Hayes, News Reporter

The "perfectly preserved" bodies of a couple who went missing 75 years ago have been found on a shrinking Swiss glacier.

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, who were 40 and 37 when they disappeared on 15 August 1942, had gone to milk their cows in a meadow above the village of Chandolin.

After the shoemaker and teacher did not return, their seven children - five sons and two daughters - were separated and placed with other families.

Marceline Udry-Dumoulin was their youngest daughter. Now 79 years old, she told Swiss newspaper Le Matin: "We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping.

"We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day."

Police in the canton of Valais said two bodies with identity papers were found by a worker near a ski lift on the Tsanfleuron glacier last week.

They were discovered 2,615m (8,600ft) above the Les Diablerets resort.

DNA testing is expected to be carried out to confirm their identities.

Bernhard Tschannen, the director of a local cable car and ski lift company, told Swiss media: "The bodies were lying near each other.

"It was a man and a woman wearing clothing dating from the period of World War Two.

"They were perfectly preserved in the glacier and their belongings were intact."

Ms Udry-Dumoulin said it was unusual for her mother to accompany her father on such a trip, explaining: "She was always pregnant and couldn't climb in the difficult conditions of a glacier."

She and her siblings all remained in the region but gradually become strangers.

"For the funeral, I won't wear black," she added. "I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost.

"I can say that after 75 years of waiting this news gives me a deep sense of calm."

Officials say 280 people have been listed as missing in the Alps or rivers of the Valais since 1925.

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