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Body of hiker missing for 37 years discovered in melting glacier

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(LONDON) — The body of a hiker who has been missing for 37 years has been unearthed on a thawing glacier near the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.

A 38-year-old German mountaineer was reported missing after failing to return from a hike in Sept. 1986, the Valais cantonal police in Switzerland said in a press release.

But last month on July 12, climbers who were traversing the Theodul Glacier near the Matterhorn in the southern Alps “discovered human remains along with several pieces of equipment” on the glacier, authorities confirmed.

“The entire discovery was transported to Sion, to the forensic medicine department of the Valais Hospital, to be examined there in collaboration with the forensic identification section of the Valais cantonal police,” police said in their statement announcing the grisly discovery. “A DNA comparison has established that it was indeed the mountaineer who has been missing since September 1986.”

Authorities did not disclose the identity of the man but did release a single picture of the scene where he was discovered of a wet, red-laced hiking boot next to several items of rusted hiking equipment.

“The receding glaciers are increasingly bringing in mountaineers,” police said.

It is unclear if the man still has any existing next of kin to be notified of his death. The investigation into his death is ongoing.

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