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November 16, 2012

Penn. police probe 1968 murder of Marine

Sister's persistence helped bring Cpl. Robert Daniel Corriveau back for hero's burial

(Continued)

Cpl. Corriveau remained buried in an unmarked Pennsylvania grave until July 2009 when Pennsylvania State Police and the Chester County District Attorney’s Office had his unidentified body exhumed. Bone samples were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for a DNA profile, which was later entered into a national missing persons DNA database. Cleary said she was first contacted by the Marines on Oct. 19 of last year. They asked if she could identify any tattoos her brother had. Then on Dec. 5, 2011, she got a call from the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS).

“That’s when I was notified it was my brother and asked whether I would give a DNA sample. The State Police traveled to my house, the day after Christmas to get a sample,” she said. Clearly’s DNA was the clincher.

Though a 44-year-old cold case is difficult to solve, Cleary remains optimistic that she can still learned who killed her brother and why.

“At this point, it’s in the state police hands. The fact is, 44 years is a long, long time ago and there are a lot of obstacles in trying to determine things now,” Cleary said.“I hope that someone comes forward.”

She’s also getting help from two retired New York City police detectives who are doing their own investigation pro bono.

“John Kelly and Tom Nerney are retired and former Marines. Once the positive ID was made, John, who had been following the case online, called me and said he wanted to help,” she said. Cleary said she owes it to her brother to wage her own relentless battle for the truth.

“He was a wonderful person and a fantastic brother,” Cleary said. “He taught me how to ice skate and how to play baseball. ... I have a lot of good memories of my brother,” she said.

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