On August 15, 1942, Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin went for a walk near their home, located not too far from the Tsanfleuron Glacier in Switzerland. They were never seen or heard from again, and left behind seven children and the cows they had been en route to feed. Per a local report last Friday, however, a ski-lift operator stumbled across a pair of well-preserved bodies dressed in 1940s clothing and surrounded by backpacks, time pieces, bottles and books. DNA testing conducted by police now indicates the remains are that of the missing Dumoulins.
Bernhard Tschannen, who discovered the remains, said the “bodies were lying near each other” when he found them. He also described them as “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.” Tschannen concluded that it appeared they had fallen into a crevasse, where they remained undiscovered for 75 years despite several search parties that covered the glacier for months after their disappearance.
Swiss police say that DNA analysis has definitively identified the pair, giving the Dumoulin family closure after nearly a century of not knowing what happened. Their youngest daughter, the now-79-year-old Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, expressed relief that the mystery was finally solved. “For the funeral, I won’t wear black,” she said. “I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost.” The Dumolin children “spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping,” she added. “We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day.”