Bodies found 75 years after couple goes missing

Francine and Marcelin Dumoulin went missing in 1942.Source:Supplied
Francine and Marcelin Dumoulin went missing in 1942.Source:Supplied

MARCELIN and Francine Dumoulin left home to milk their cows in 1942 and never returned to their seven kids.

On a clear day in August, the couple set off from their village, Chandolin, into the Swiss Alps to check up on their cattle on farmland in Grilden, planning to come back that evening.

When they never returned, they left their five sons and two daughters orphaned.

"We spent our lives searching for them, relentlessly," youngest daughter Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, 79, she told the Swiss newspaper Le Matin in comments translated from French.

"We did not think we could ever give them the funeral they deserved."

Now, 75 years after the mystery began, we finally know what happened.

Mr and Mrs Dumoulin's perfectly preserved bodies have been discovered in a shrinking glacier in Switzerland, 2615 metres above sea level.

The bodies of the husband and wife, who were 40 and 37 respectively when they went missing, were found near each other by a worker near a ski lift above the Les Diablerets resort on Thursday.

They were found still wearing World War II-era clothing with a backpack, watch, book and other personal items.

"The discovered equipment suggests that these hikers were likely to have been victims of an accident several decades ago," Swiss police said in a statement.

Police will send the bodies for DNA testing to confirm officially that they are those of Mr Dumoulin, a shoemaker, and Mrs Dumoulin, a teacher who rarely went with her husband to tend to the cattle.

"We think they may have fallen into a crevasse where they stayed for decades," ski lift operator Bernhard Tschannen told newspaper Tribune de Geneve.

"As the glacier receded, it gave up their bodies."

The discovery has finally provided answers to the couples' two surviving children, Marceline and Monique, who were split off to live with other families after a two-and-a-half-month search into the glacier's crevasses came to naught.

"I must say that after 75 years of waiting this news calms me deeply," said Ms Udry-Dumoulin, who was four years old when her parents disappeared and was placed with her aunt.

"Mum and dad will finally have their burial.

"For the funeral, I will not put on black. I think white will be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I have never lost."

Topics:  death international

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