CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — After more than seven decades, the remains of a Rhode Islander who died serving in the Korean War have finally been accounted for.

U.S. Army Sgt. Lawrence Robidoux went missing in action in November 1950. It would later be determined that the 22-year-old Cumberland native was taken prisoner and died in a POW camp in 1951.

North Korea returned the remains of several POWs to the United States in 1954, but Robidoux wasn’t found among them. He was deemed unrecoverable in 1956.

Denis Couture, Robidoux’s nephew, tells 12 News his mother learned of her brother’s death from another prisoner of war.

“He was in the same [prisoner] camp that he was,” Couture explained. “He personally saw him pass away.”

Couture said his mother was devastated by the loss of her brother.

“He has always been part of the family,” Couture said. “My mother never let [his memory] die with him.”

Couture’s mother finally received closure more than 70 years later, when her brother’s remains were positively identified through dental, anthropological and DNA analysis.

“Fortunately, she’s hearing about it before she passes,” Couture said, adding that his mother is now 96 years old. “We were always concerned that would never happen.”

Couture’s family remains hopeful that remaining 20 prisoners of war that were held in the same camp as Robidoux will soon be identified.

Robidoux will be buried with full honors in Arlington National Cemetery. Though a date has not been set yet, Couture said he and his mother will be in attendance.

“It will be a proud moment for our family to have him remembered,” Couture said.

Customize Your Notifications: Choose which 12 News topics you want to be alerted about »