Body of couple who’ve been missing for 75 years found – in a rather unexpected state

By Kim Abrahams
19 July 2017

The couple were found wearing clothing dating from World War II.

The bodies of a couple who went missing more than seven decades ago were recently found perfectly preserved in a Swiss glacier.

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin braved Switzerland’s icy mountains as they made their way to milk their cows on 15 August 1941.

But the pair, who had seven kids at the time, is believed to have fallen into a crevasse, where they died and remained for the 75 years that followed.

“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping,” their youngest daughter Marceline Uldry-Dumoulin (79) told the Lausanne daily Le Matin.

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

The bodies of Marcelin (40 at the time) and Francine (37 at the time) were found by a worker on the Tsanfleuron Glacier near a ski lift above Les Diablerets resort.

The worker – an employee of ski-lift company Glacier 3000 – stumbled across pairs of male and female shoes, a few backpacks, tin bowls and part of a body.

“The bodies were lying near each other,” Bernhard Tschannen, director of Glacier 3000, told the Tribune de Geneve. “It was a man and a woman wearing clothing dating from the period of World War II.

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

Glaciers form when fallen snow – over a number of years – compresses and turns into thick ice.

“We think they may have fallen into a crevasse where they stayed for decades. As the glacier receded, it gave up their bodies,” said Tschannen.

Although DNA tests will reveal whether the bodies do indeed belong to the missing couple, identity documents were found with them and the papers are still in tip top shape.

Marcelin, who was a shoemaker, and Francine, who was a teacher, left five sons and two daughters behind.

After their death, their children were split and sent off to different families.

“It was the first time my mother went with him on such an excursion. She was always pregnant and couldn’t climb in the difficult conditions of the glacier,” Marceline explained.

“After a while, we children were separated and placed in families. I was lucky to stay with my aunt. We all lived in the region but became strangers.

“For the funeral, I won’t wear black. I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost.”


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