(KMSP) - After 72 years, a 94-year-old Minnesota woman may finally find out what happened to the man she married during World War II.
Catherine Burket married Jerry Jacobsen in the middle of World War II, but the newlyweds had little time together before Jerry shipped off to a battlefield in France.
On July 12, 1944, while near enemy lines, Jerry wrote a letter to his bride, saying “I hope this dam thing don't last much longer so I can come home to you darling."
The same week the letter arrived so did a telegram. Staff Sgt. Jacobsen was reported missing in action.
A few years ago, Catherine had this stone marker placed at Fort Snelling in Jerry's memory. For seven decades she has tried to get answers.
In June, Roberta Russo, a war historian, gave the Fox 9 Investigators information she discovered about a grave in France for an unknown soldier. The old records show the army thought it might be Jerry Jacobsen.
"Everything in this file points to the fact that they really felt that this was Jerry Jacobsen,” Russo said.
But, 70 years ago they did not have DNA technology to prove it. So, Catherine was kept in the dark until now.
The Fox 9 Investigators shared the documents with Jacobsen’s family.
His nephew, Brad, filed a formal request in July with the Pentagon to have the remains exhumed and tested.
By October, the Department of Defense still had not approved disinterment of the grave. But then, a Fox 9 investigation got Washington's attention.
"They saw it and that must have had one hell of an impact, because they sped it up,” Brad Jacobsen said.
On Thursday, Brad got the news the family was hoping for: the grave in France will be exhumed on Monday and the remains flown to a military forensics lab in Nebraska for testing.
After 72 long, agonizing years, they are close to getting an answer.
"We just got to keep our fingers crossed, but I'm convinced it’s Uncle Jerry,” Brad said.
The family should know for sure in a matter of weeks.