World War Two Veteran Gets Funeral Years After Death

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CODY, Wyo. For 25 years, the case was known as the “bag of bones” found in a shack on a rural Thermopolis property.

But in 2017, the remains at the center of a case that was featured on the television show “Unsolved Mysteries” were finally identified as those belonging to Joseph Mulvaney, a World War II veteran from Illinois who served for four and a half years in the South Pacific.

Mulvaney was murdered – shot in the head - sometime in the early 1960s.

Records are unclear what year he actually disappeared.

According to his granddaughter, the family was told that he simply “wandered away”, never to be heard from again.

It was only later that the truth became known – the family believes Mulvaney’s wife killed him, and the bones were later dug up by a relative and placed in a footlocker, which found its way to a rural property outside of Thermopolis.

Jona Vanata represents the Families on the Frontline organization in Cody. Because Mulvaney was a World War II veteran, Vanata says it was important that he be given a military funeral.

Ballard Funeral Home in Cody volunteered their services for the funeral on March 29th.

Organizers are coordinating with the local VFW honor guard and Patriot Guard members from Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Colorado to give Mulvaney a sendoff deserving of a World War II combat veteran.

The public is encouraged to attend the service, which will be held March 29th at 11 a.m. in Cody.