A French skier who went missing in 1954 has been identified after details of the investigation into his disappearance were shared on social media by Italian police.
Human remains, ski equipment and glasses were found in the Italian Alps in 2005, but efforts to identify the victim were unsuccessful. That is, until investigators shared details of their findings and appealed for help on social media.
The story went viral and was picked up by French media, reaching the family of the skier, who has now been identified as Henri Le Masne.
There had been some clues about the identity of the mystery skier, such as clothing embroidered with his initials, a pair of high-quality wooden skis and a pair of glasses, according to police.
Authorities established that the remains belonged to a wealthy man who would have been about 1.75 metres tall and aged about 30, but got no closer to determining the man’s identity.
Le Masne’s niece, Emma Nasem, caught wind of the story and contacted police, suggesting the mystery remains could belong to her uncle who went missing after skiing in a storm by the Swiss border.
A distinctive pair of glasses recovered by police was particularly helpful in identifying Le Masne.
“Yes, I think I know this person. My uncle died with his skis on the Matterhorn in 1954 on a big storm day,” Ms Nasem said on Facebook.
A DNA test with Henri’s now 94-year-old brother confirmed their suspicions.