The bodies of a couple that went missing 75 years ago in the Swiss Alps were recovered last week after melting glaciers revealed their mummified remains.
Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, 79, told Le Matin that her parents, Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, went missing August 15, 1942, according to USA Today, after leaving their seven children at home to go milk the family cows, never to be seen again.
Udry-Dumoulin said her mother had never before taken the trek with her father, reports CBS News, since she was so often pregnant and the path included the “difficult conditions of a glacier.”
Bernhard Tschannen, director of the train company Glacier 3000, said his staff surmised that the couple fell into a crevice, where they died and remained for decades, until the melting ice finally gave way. “The bodies were lying near each other. It was a man and a woman wearing clothing dating from the period of World War Two,” he described.
Local police said they found identification papers on the bodies. They also said that the bodies, a book, a backpack, a watch, and other items found with the bodies have been sent to a Lausanne medical institution for DNA testing in order to confirm their identities.
Udry-Dumoulin, who was 4 when her parents disappeared, said in an interview with the New York Times that the only thing she remembers of the day was her aunt crying and holding her.
After two months of fruitless searches for the couple, the seven children were eventually separated among neighbors. Udry-Dumoulin moved in with her aunt, and said the siblings lost touch in the years after being separated.
Udry-Dumoulin said the discovery of her parents’ bodies has brought her a “deep sense of calm.”
“For the funeral, I won’t wear black. I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost,” she said.
Hundreds of hikers die in the Swiss Alps annually, and the Dumoulins are not the first bodies to disappear in the snow. According to ABC, in 2015, melting ice revealed the bodies of two Japanese hikers who disappeared in the 1970s. Approximately 280 people have been listed as missing in the Swiss Alps since 1925, according to Swiss officials.
[Featured Image by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images]