SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities in Utah are asking for help finding the only known relative of a World War II Soviet soldier whose remains were recently found in Russia.
The remains of Senior Lt. Anton Fomich Skripko were found last August in Karelia, Russia, by the Association of Search Group Keepers as the group was prospecting in the village, according to Salt Lake police detective Matt Roper.
Dog tags identified the remains as those of a man listed as missing for the past 75 years.
The group went on to discover that Skripko's son was deceased, meaning his only known descendant is a grandson who shares his name, Roper said. Anton Eduardovich Skripko, who would now be 53 years old, relocated to the United States and at one point lived in Utah.
Russian authorities have now reached out to Utah law enforcement in an effort to find the grandson to inform him his grandfather's remains have been located and to return to his family his belongings and an award he earned.
"It's prestigious enough that they're reaching out this far," Roper said.
So far police have been unsuccessful in their search for the grandson, but Roper said officers are doing whatever they can to find him.Comment on this story
"Whenever we come across deceased persons, we do our best to attempt to identify the next of kin," Roper said. "In this case, the Soviets were our allies during World War II, and as far as we know this is a current U.S. citizen, so we're trying to give him the courtesy that we would any other citizen."
Anyone with information about Anton Eduardovich Skripko is asked to contact Salt Lake police by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 801-799-3565. Callers should refer to case number 18-31953.
Contributing: Peter Samore