SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The remains of a World War II veteran were identified with DNA from a Springfield woman after he'd been missing for 77 years.
Diane Corwin said she was only 3 years old when her uncle, Cread Shuey, left for war.
She says he lied about his age and joined the US Army when he was 17. He would never see his 18th birthday.
Sergeant Shuey was a soldier in the 60th coast artillery regiment serving in the Philippines when Japanese forces invaded the coast and thousands were forced to surrender.
After Shuey was captured he became part of the inhumane Bataan Death March, where he was forced to walk over 60 miles without water or food. He eventually died from malaria and dysentery.
Shuey's family never heard from him again, and his remains were never identified.
That began to change two years ago when Corwin said the United States Department of Defense requested a hair sample. At the time she didn't know why, but she said she could not have guessed what it would reveal.
The military had unidentified remains and they suspected they were Shuey.
Through testing they were able to match the remains of Shuey who died as a prisoner of war 77 years ago to her DNA.
She said she's not even sure how they found her or knew to contact her, but she's glad they did.
"I know my grandmother was devastated when he was missing," Corwin said. "She had written to the army many times numerous times wanting his body brought home."
And now after 77 years, he is home
Sgt. Cread Shuey was laid to rest at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in his hometown of Marana, Arizona, near Tucson.
At the memorial, Corwin said her uncle was awarded many honors, including the purple heart
"The full honor guard was there. They did the 21 gun salute -- full honor for one man, we were just blown away," said Corwin.
She said she is blessed to have this closure, not only for her, but her grandmother as well who never knew what happened to her only son.
"We can finally say he's been brought home and he's probably with (my grandmother)," she continued.