Bodies of Swiss Couple Buried in Glacier for 75 Years Are Identified


Clockwise from top left: A shoe, a book, a bottle and a pocket watch found with the remains of a Swiss couple who disappeared in 1942.

Swiss Police

In 1942, a Swiss shoemaker and his wife set out across a glacier to milk their cows that were grazing in a neighboring area. The couple, the parents of seven young children, were never seen again.

On Wednesday, the mystery of what happened to the couple was finally solvedas the police formally identified two mummified bodies found last week in an Alpine glacier as Marcelin Dumoulin, 40 and his wife, Francine, a 37 year-old teacher.

A ski resort worker stumbled upon their bodies on Thursday near a ski lift about 8,600 feet above a village, Les Diablerets. Along with the couple’s well-preserved World War II-era clothes, other clues to their identity included a book and a watch.


The mummified remains were found last week on a Swiss glacier.

Glacier 3000, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Stéphane Vouardoux, a spokesman for the police in the canton of Valais, the area near where the couple disappeared, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that DNA testing had confirmed that the bodies were the Dumoulins. He said the discovery had brought a sense of closure to the couple’s two surviving daughters, and ended the uncertainty about the tragedy that had haunted locals for decades. The evidence strongly suggested, he added, that the couple had been killed in an accident.

“It is definitely them — until now, all we had was hope,” Mr. Vouardoux said, adding that the news had reduced several residents to tears. “This, once and for all, puts an end to a story that has deeply marked the village. For years, people have been asking questions: ‘What happened to them? Why couldn’t we find them?’ Now we know the truth.”

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