FRESNO., Calif — The cremains of a navy corpsman are now back with his family. When we first told you about this story the family was desperate to find the cremains that burned down with their house in Magalia from the camp fire.
Jane Aiken lost everything.
"It was hectic because I couldn't get back to my house," said Aiken. But worst of all she says she also lost her husband Larry Aiken's cremains.
Aiken served as Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class in Vietnam.
"It's been difficult with the holidays since I just lost my husband in July. Knowing that my house was flatted and we couldn't find him that was a tough one because he was supposed to have a military funeral the following week," said Aiken.
Determined to do something Jane's daughter, molly rich contacted the Institute for Canine Forensics, a volunteer group of archaeologist and trained cadaver dogs. It took about an hour to search through the soot, ashes and sorting through things Sunday.
"They are doing this with all their own time and money," said Rich. "We just have total respect for the dogs. We learned their whole mannerisms and what they do. What they are trained to do."
They only do this on the weekends. They all have other jobs. The dignity and the respect with the ashes. We were terribly honored to be right beside them," said Aiken.
From a distance Larry's family watched as one of the dogs caught on to a scent and eventually found Larry's cremains.
"We are so fortunate. We were one of the real lucky ones to have Larry back home. The things are just. I know everybody says that but ashes of a real-life person who was in my life for 50 years. Yes, we can hardly wait to get him back into this beautiful box that Terry made. We are going to have another military funeral and he'll be home," said Aiken.
"Him being military. There was no man left behind. So, we didn't leave him behind," said Rich.