The United States Army has given a Shell Lake, Wis. family the news they've been hoping to hear for decades: Some of the remains of their lost uncle, who served in WWII, have been recovered. The Fox 9 Investigators first shared the story of Bud Kelder in May.
Bud was a WWII POW who survived the Bataan Death March but died of malnutrition in a Japanese prison camp. A several years ago, his family got a hold of military records that indicated he was buried in a tomb of unknowns in the Philippines.
The family sued the Pentagon to get action and DNA testing confirmed Bud was in that grave. However, the testing also revealed something else that complicates a homecoming. There were bones from other soldiers in Bud's grave. The Army said it's likely some of Bud's skeletal remains were mistakenly placed in the coffins of four other troops who were positively identified and returned to the United States 70 years ago.
In order to fully recover the remains of Private Kelder, the Army must get permission from the other families to open up those graves and turn the remains over to a lab for identification testing.
It is not the ending the family was hoping for but there is comfort in knowing that at long last Kelder will be laid to rest in the country he gave his life for.
"It's been a long, long fight, five years in court, and I'm just glad to see it come to an end so we can give my uncle a proper burial," said Bud's nephew, Doug Kelder.
INVESTIGATORS - Could DNA evidence bring our war heroes home?