APPLETON - "It makes us feel good. It's just a miracle. We never thought they'd ever find him," said Elayne Lastofka.
After six decades, one veteran from Appleton will finally get the welcome home he deserves. Pfc. Arthur Hopfensperger went to war at age 18 in 1950 and never came home.
His family says his remains have finally been identified. For Hopfensperger's family, a name on a plaque is really all the memorial they've had. No grave site. No place to lay flowers.
"We never thought they'd find him in Korea," said Lastofka.
Last week his cousin Elayne Lastofka got the call she'd been waiting 62 years for.
"They had identified the body then with the DNA," she told FOX 11 News on Friday.
Hopfensperger's remains had been in a lab in Hawaii for two years, after being found in North Korea. He'd deployed right after high school. He died in 1950, shortly after his service started.
"I heard that the Chinese came over the border and it was a very fierce fight. Thirteen people killed in that battle," said Lastofka.
Six decades and nothing. Until two years ago, his body was found by chance.
"This North Korean farmer was digging for some earth and he discovered the bones, and he notified the government and then they notified our government," said Lastofka.
Lastofka says the family's planning a graveside service at Highland Memorial Park.
His family says they're happy their loved one will finally come here to rest in Appleton, where his body belongs. They also hope more people will start remembering the forgotten war.
"It was the ultimate sacrifice on our part when you give a person of your family to the government and he's killed in war," she described. "Very difficult."
Now this soldier's family can finally find closure, laying a mystery 62 years in the making to rest.
Hopfensperger's body will be flown from Hawaii to Appleton in the next few weeks. No word yet on a date for his burial.
Gov. Scott Walker is calling for more trees to be harvested from a national forest in far northern Wisconsin as part of the state's efforts to spur growth in its struggling timber industry.
A man convicted in an arson that was made to look like a hate crime has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.
It could be closing time for many small cinemas across the country.
When is it work? When is it abuse? The line can sometimes be blurry, when it comes to dairy farmers dealing with cows. These questions have recently been raised, after video surfaced, showing animal abuse at a local dairy farm.
When your doctor prescribes medication, you assume it's safe, but some people don't realize how dangerous it can be, if it's abused. A group of local high school students helped make a movie to shine a light on the problem.
We're learning more about what it will take to find out what caused a major fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday.