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An expert works to uncover one of the 20 wooden sculptures which were recently discovered at the ancient archaeological site of Chan Chan, in the outskirts of the northern city of Trujillo, in Peru, on October 22, 2018, - The unique sculptures found in niches are fixed to the ground measuring an average of 70 centimeters and representing different characters. (Photo by CRIS BOURONCLE / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by CRIS BOURONCLE has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [20] instead of [19]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.        (Photo credit should read CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

In 1942, the couple never returned from milking their cows in a meadow near their home

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin left behind six children

(CNN) —  

A Swiss couple who disappeared from their farm in the Alps during World War II have finally been found, 75 years later, mummified in a glacier.

Marcelin, 40, and Francine, 37, Dumoulin went missing on August 15, 1942, after leaving to milk their cows in a meadow near their home. They never returned to their family, including their six children.

A worker found the frozen bodies of a man and a woman last week during routine maintenance. The corpses were preserved in the receding Tsanfleuron glacier, near a slew of trendy ski resorts at 2,600 meters (8,500 feet) above sea level.

“From afar, it looked like small rocks, but there were too many in the same place,” noted nearby Glacier 3000 resort director Bernhard Tschannen in an interview with Radio Television Swisse.

Francine (left) and Marcelin Dumoulin went missing from their Swiss farm in 1942.
Swiss TV
Francine (left) and Marcelin Dumoulin went missing from their Swiss farm in 1942.

When he got closer, he noticed a collection of frozen accessories – backpacks, watches, mess kits, a glass bottle and boots – all of which dated back several decades.

Decked in World War II-era clothing, the duo was frozen close together. Their bodies have since been airlifted from the Alps.

An inspector examines the belongings found alongside the couple.
Swiss TV
An inspector examines the belongings found alongside the couple.

The couple’s youngest daughter, 79-year-old Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, told Swiss paper Le Matin their children had never stopped looking for them.

“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping. We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day,” she said.

Another daughter, Monique Gautschy-Dumoulin, told Radio Television Swisse (RTS) her parents were walking to the valley the morning of their disappearance. It was a nice day, she says. Her father was singing.

Francine Dumoulin (far right) went missing with her husband in 1942.
Swiss TV
Francine Dumoulin (far right) went missing with her husband in 1942.

But that was the last Monique would see of her parents, whose disappearance left her to care for her young sisters and brothers.

Their mother, a schoolteacher, and father, a shoemaker, likely fell into a crevice of the glacier, where their bodies were preserved.

The Institute of Forensic Medicine will seek to formally identify the bodies, through DNA tests, but the couple’s children are convinced they are their missing parents.

“I can say that after 75 years of waiting this news gives me a deep sense of calm,” Udry-Dumoulin said. “Now, I know where my parents are.”

CNN’s Merieme Arif and Sophie Jeong contributed to this report