July 18 (UPI) — An employee at a ski resort in Switzerland found the bodies of what appeared to be two hikers who died before the end of World War II and were preserved by a glacier, Swiss police said.
Valais police said officials removed the bodies Friday from Tsanflueron glacier at an altitude of more than 8,500 feet.
“The discovered equipment suggests that these hikers were likely to have been victims of an accident several decades ago,” the police statement said.
Authorities handed over a backpack, watch and book they found to forensic scientists for study.
Bernhard Tschannen, director of the resort, Glacier 3,000, told Le Matin newspaper that the bodies were wearing clothing that appeared to date from the pre-war period.
“Everything leads us to think they were trying to get to canton Bern on foot, as people did at that time,” he said. “It’s the shortest route.”
Le Matin reported it’s possible the bodies are that of a shoemaker and his wife, a teacher, from Saviese, who didn’t return after a visit to the alpine pastures in 1942.
“The formal identification of the bodies will take several days and it will be necessary in particular to resort to DNA comparisons,” police said.