George Carroll vanished almost 60 years ago, but his family never believed he walked out on them and his body was found in October buried in the basement

By Chris Harris
December 14, 2018 10:44 AM
James Carbone/Newsday via AP

A skeleton discovered in October in the basement of a home in Long Island, New York, has been positively identified as the remains of a Korean War veteran who disappeared almost 60 years ago, PEOPLE confirms.

Prosecutors say an investigation is now underway into how the missing man, George Carroll, came to be killed and buried in his family’s residence for so long.

Michael Carroll, George’s son, owns the house in Lake Grove. For years, Michael refused to believe his mother’s account: That his father simply went out for cigarettes one night in 1961 — leaving his wallet behind — and never returned.

Michael, who was reportedly 8 months old when his dad disappeared, tapped psychics, paranormal investigators and other experts in his quest for the truth. In late October, specialized tools were used to scan the basement floor, turning up a perfectly intact skeleton buried five feet down.

Michael and his sons started excavating the basement soon after, eventually revealing George’s remains. The family called 911 and homicide detectives were summoned to investigate.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Dorothy Carroll, Michael’s mother and George’s wife, passed away in 1998 but always maintained that George skipped town, leaving her to raise their four kids.

But, Michael told Newsday, he always suspected something terrible had happened to his father and at this point is happy enough knowing his dad has been found.

He is planning a proper burial for George, with hopes his final resting place will be Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island.

Michael said he’s fine not knowing who killed his father.

While an exact cause of death may be impossible to determine after so long, testing on the body did show George sustained blunt force trauma that contributed to his death.

Detectives are asking that anyone who may have information relevant to this case contact the Suffolk County Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.