United Nations Command Chaplain U.S. Army Col. Sam Lee performs a blessing of sacrifice and remembrance on the 55 cases of remains believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War and returned by North Korea at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Friday, July 27, 2018. (Staff Sgt. Quince Lanford/U.S. Army via AP)

Return by NK of possible remains stir relatives' hopes

July 28, 2018 - 3:20 pm

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — News that North Korea is sending home 55 sets of remains is being welcomed by relatives of those missing from the Korean War. But most know they still face long odds that they'll find their relatives.

Eighty-four-year-old Ruth Santella, of St. Paul, Minnesota, has waited nearly seven decades to receive the remains of her brother, Private 1st Class George D'Amico. She doesn't hold out much hope of living long enough to discover whether his bones are among those released by North Korea on Friday.

Ted Barker co-founded the Korean War Project , which helps families submit their DNA to the military in an effort to identify remains.

He says it typically takes six to seven years — often longer — to identify remains of U.S. service members recovered from Korea.

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