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90-year-old woman finally finds out what happened to childhood sweetheart husband 54 years after he vanished

90-year-old woman finally finds out what happened to childhood sweetheart husband 54 years after he vanished

After her husband went missing during the Vietnam War 54 years ago, a 90-year-old woman has finally uncovered what really happened to him

A 90-year-old woman has finally uncovered the truth about what happened to her husband after he went missing in action during the Vietnam War 54 years ago.

Joyce De Soto, who lives in Burlingame, California, had been left wondering what had happened to her husband of 12 years, U.S. Air Force Col. Ernest 'Ernie' Leo De Soto, as she had no idea if he had been captured at the time, tortured or if he was even still alive.

Joyce De Soto has finally found out what happened to her husband, Ernie.

After 54 years of uncertainty, Joyce finally got her answers when her husband's remains were found in March and it was finally revealed what had had happened to him.

During a Vietnam War mission in April 1969, the plane Ernie was on along with three other US aircraft were hit by heavy gun fire as they flew through a cloudy mountain ridge, according to the POW network.

Forced to abort their mission, they turned around but Ernie's plane unfortunately crashed into a mountain before he could reach safety with his team, according to Brad De Soto.

A search was launched but hostile activity in the area stopped a ground investigation of the site of the crash. A series of investigations and recovery efforts were actioned between 1998 and 2020, before Ernie's remains were finally located in 2021.

A piece of bone was found at the site and thanks to mitochondrial DNA technology, it was later identified as Ernie's.

"It's closure," Joyce stated after finding out about her husband's death. "He's here, he didn't suffer. He was killed in the airplane, which I have never known."

Joyce and Ernie had been married for 12 years before he disappeared.

On 29 June, Ernie will finally return home in full uniform for a military burial at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.

The De Soto family will be accompanied by military personnel to meet the casket, and on 30 June a memorial service will be held at Our Lady of Angels Church in Burlingame.

Joyce and Ernie, who were high school sweethearts, welcomed two sons, Craig and Brad, and a daughter, Denise, and enjoyed 12 years of marriage before his disappearance in Vietnam in 1969.

The pair's daughter Denise said it 'really means a lot' following the discovery of her father's remains and what happened to him.

"It means a lot, it really means a lot," Denise said. "He can be put to rest, and we feel better knowing that he was not being tortured and other awfulness."

Featured Image Credit: NBC

Topics: History, Sex and Relationships