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Published: Monday, 7/27/2009

Toledoan awaits answers on MIA brother

BLADE STAFF
Rolland Desautels of Toledo shows a picture of his brother Richard, who joined the Army at 17 and was captured during the Korean War. He remains missing. Rolland Desautels of Toledo shows a picture of his brother Richard, who joined the Army at 17 and was captured during the Korean War. He remains missing.
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The Pentagon plans to ask Chinese officials for information about Army Sgt. Richard D. Desautels, who has been missing since he was captured during the Korean War.

His older brother, Rolland Desautels of Toledo, is grateful - although he believes his younger brother, who would be 77, has been dead for years and doubts much will come from the inquiry.

"I don't think he's alive, but it would be nice to get some more information," Mr. Desautels said.

Chinese authorities have acknowledged they have a file on Sergeant Desautels.

"I think if we look at it [the file], we'll find out how he died, and I don't think the death would be natural," Mr. Desautels said.

On Friday, members of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen presented the U.S. Department of Defense a letter from Mr. Desautels. It provided details of his brother's case and asked the Pentagon to request the release ofthe file on Sergeant Desautels.

The letter went to a representative of Charles Ray, deputy assistant secretary for POW/MIA af

fairs. A representative for Mr. Ray said the letter would be presented at an August meeting between Mr. Ray's office and the Chinese.

Mark Sauter, a member of the family group, said the Chinese had two secret POW camps for prisoners and that Sergeant Desautels was probably in one of them.

He said Sergeant Desautels is among the 4,000 POWs/MIAs from the Korean War for whom "there is no real information on what happened to them."

Sergeant Desautels entered the Army at 17 in Vermont, where his family lived, Mr. Desautels said. He was assigned to an engineering battalion as a truck driver.



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