Homer Ray Abney, the son of a city of Dallas truck driver, was taken prisoner and killed by enemy forces during the Korean War, a fact the US Army now has confirmed with physical evidence.
"He smiled a lot so he made me smile," said Nenva Vines, Abney's niece. "You know, you look up to your uncles."
Vines described the night the Army came knocking on the door.
"I do have memories of that night because everybody was crying, a frightening event for a child," Nenva said. "It seemed like it was the middle of the night for me."
The government didn't have his body. They presumed at the age of 24, Abney had been taken prisoner and killed by enemy forces.
"It's been a long, long mystery," Vines said.
That mystery ended Friday at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
"It was 66 years and five days from when he was declared dead until he returned to Texas soil," said Sarah Vines, Abney's great-great niece.
Back in 2005, human remains were recovered from a burial site in North Korea. It would take a decade, but ultimately those remains were connected to Homer. The family received the call about the discovery last Christmas.
"I can't tell you at how impressed I am that their search continued and how they have brought him home," Nenva said. "It's been so long but they still take care of their own."
It took more than half a century but now Army Sgt. Homer R. Abney is finally home.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the fate of more than 7,750 Americans remain unknown after the Korean War ended. However, the agency continues to work to get answers for their families as well.