Michael Carroll

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Long Island Man Digs Up Remains In Basement While Searching For Father Missing Since 1961

November 01, 2018 - 12:32 pm

LAKE GROVE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A Long Island family discovered human bones in their basement possibly signaling the end of a decadeslong search for a lost loved one.

For decades, Michael Carroll has heard his father, a Korean War veteran who disappeared in 1961, has been buried in the basement of his home on Olive Street in Lake Grove. 

Three years ago, Carroll started digging a little bit every day with the help of his sons. He even hired a company with ground penetrating radar to help with the search.

"I did it by myself for the longest time, but I was in the wrong spot," Carroll said. "I got to the point where it became dangerous because I was afraid my house was going to cave in."

About four months ago they started digging in a different spot and then, of all days, on Halloween he found remains.

"I took a chance, I could've done this whole thing and found nothing," Carroll said. "I felt he was dancing in heaven, that's all I can say... The minute I came across what we did I felt total peace. It's weird, I felt vindicated for my dad."

Carroll doesn't know what happened to his father. His mother, the one person who might have had some answers, died in 1998.

"We're gonna take away the negative part and just think that she was protecting four children. You have a mother who was very, very strong and soembody who's protecting four young children under seven years old," Carroll said. "Back then she's alone dealing with stress or whatever. She didn't have hotlines to call, she didn't have all these things. I can't be in the mind of my mother at the time because she was being a strong mom."

DNA tests must still be done to confirm the remains are those of his father. 

Carroll said his father deserves to be recognized for his military service and he'd like to see him buried at Calverton National Cemetery.

"He's a hero," Carroll said.