The remains of a Swiss couple who disappeared while walking to feed their cattle are believed to have been recovered from a retreating glacier, local media reported Tuesday.
Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, aged 40 and 37 respectively, were last seen on August 15, 1942 near the village of Chandolin, around 125 miles south of Bern.
Police in Valais canton said that the bodies of a man and a woman dating from around the time of World War II was found by a worker near a ski lift last week. DNA tests were expected to confirm their identity as the Dumoulins.
"The bodies were lying near each other." Bernhard Tschannen, director of a local cable car and ski lift company, told Le Matin newspaper. "They were perfectly preserved in the glacier and their belongings were intact."
Tschannen told another Swiss paper, the Tribune de Geneve, that he believed the couple fell into a crevasse and were "perfectly preserved" by the Tsanfleuron glacier at an altitude of 8,580 feet.
The Dumoulins had seven children, who were separated and placed with relatives or in foster homes after their parents' disappearance. The couple's youngest daughter, 79-year-old Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, told Le Matin that August 15, 1942 was the first time her mother had accompanied her father to the pasture.
"She was always pregnant and couldn't climb in the difficult conditions of a glacier," she said, later adding, "We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping. We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day."
Swiss officials say that 280 people have been reported missing in the Alps or rivers of Valais since 1925.