and now they will try to discover who they buried.
It is one of those mysteries that has captured the collective imagination of the public over the years. Every so often the story has surfaced again. Someone has claimed that "it might be...." or "someone has come forward with new information..." or.... well, you know the sort of thing.
We have a number of mysteries here - probably far more than I am aware of - but some seem determined to stay that way. There were the three children who went down to the beach alone - in a time when children did such things. They never went home. Nobody knows what happened to them. They would be almost my age know - old enough to have grown up, been married, had careers, had children, become grandparents and much more. There were supposed "sightings" of them and clairvoyants and others have been called in. Their mother died never knowing what had happened to her children - but that caused the story to be raised in the media all over again.
There were the two little girls who went off to public toilets at a football match and were never seen again. Their story surfaces now and again too. How could two girls disappear without a trace from a crowded football ground? One of them was old enough to know not to go with strangers. Did she go? Did she go willingly? Was it someone she knew? It is unlikely we will ever know.
And yes other people have gone missing. I knew the parents of a girl who went missing and was later found murdered. It was an appalling situation for her parents. They had done nothing wrong. The girl herself had done nothing wrong. The perpetrators of that unimaginable crime had forcibly taken the girl. It was "one of those things" - except that it never is. It should never happen. Her parents never recovered from the trauma. People talk about "closure" but there was never any real closure for them even after the perpetrators were caught.
And if you don't know what happened then it must be even worse. Who was that man on the beach? How did he die? Why didn't anyone report him missing at the time? Are there really people that nobody else misses, miss to such an extent that they don't make inquiries?
Some people go missing deliberately of course. They don't want to be found. It is harder to do that than it would seem to be. There is an ever increasing need for us to be able to show "who" we are in order to access even basic services.
The body they exhumed yesterday was buried before I was born. They are apparently hoping for a DNA match with someone who might be a descendant. It's a long shot but one someone is prepared to pay for because this sort of mystery is not the sort of mystery with which many people are prepared to live.
If it was fiction we might be happy to read it. In real life it is something very different.