The remains of a skier were recovered from a glacier at Valtournenche in the Aosta valley in July 2005.
All attempts to identify the well-off Frenchman aged about 30 were unsuccessful. That is until this June when the man was identified as Henri le Masne, who went missing on his 35th birthday, March 26, 1954.
Le Masne was a avid skier who worked at the Ministry of Finance in Paris. On the fateful day, he had gone out for a solo ski mission when he vanished.
Over 50 years later le Masne niece, Emma Nassem, heard a news broadcast about the mysterious skier and thought the Matterhorn man was likely to be her uncle, Henri le Masne.
Her family provided a photograph of Henri le Masne wearing the same glasses recovered with the remains. A watch recovered at the time was also identified as belonging to le Masne.
A DNA sample taken from Ms Nassem’s father Roger – the younger brother of Henri le Masne, who is now 95 – finally confirmed le Masne identity, allowing the Italian police to close the 64 year old case.