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WWII soldier from Arizona was found in France in 2021. Now, his remains are coming home

U.S. Soldiers landing on Normandy beach, 1944
U.S. Department of Defense
handout | agency
U.S. Soldiers landing in Normandy in 1944.

An Arizona soldier who was lost during World War II has been officially accounted for close to 80 years later.

There was no record of German forces taking 37-year-old Alcario Flores prisoner. The Coolidge man was presumed to have died in an intense battle in rural France.

Efforts began in 1946 to find and identify Americans missing in action throughout the countryside. Flores’ remains would stay missing until 2021, when someone with a metal detector came across them while illegally collecting relics from foxholes.

After years of testing, including mitochondrial DNA analysis, Defense Department scientists made a positive identification. And now, a rosette will go next to his name on the Walls of the Missing in France to indicate he has been found.

Flores is scheduled to be buried in Tempe in August.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.