Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin were 40 and 37, respectively, when they went out to milk their cows in the Swiss Alps on Aug. 15, 1942. They never returned, leaving behind seven children who were divided among other families in the region. The children became strangers, but "we spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping," the couple's youngest daughter, 79-year-old Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, tells Le Matin, per Reuters. "We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day." That day may have finally come. Swiss police announced Monday that two bodies were found last week on a glacier at 8,600 feet, and local media report the bodies are those of the Dumoulins.
The bodies were discovered together near a ski lift on the Tsanfleuron glacier alongside a book, backpack, watch, and identity papers, reports the Local. "We think they may have fallen into a crevasse where they stayed for decades. As the glacier receded, it gave up their ... perfectly preserved" bodies, an official with ski lift operator Glacier 3000 tells the Tribune de Geneve. "Everything leads us to think they were trying to get to canton Bern on foot, as people did at the time," he adds. DNA testing will be used to confirm the identities of the couple. Udry-Dumoulin says that fateful day was the first time her often-pregnant mother had accompanied her father on the glacier. She plans to wear white, rather than black, to her parents' funeral because "it represents hope, which I never lost." (Two Japanese men missing for 45 years were found on a glacier in 2015.)