Woman finally has proof her brother wasn't a deserter
Mari A. Schaefer
Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Marine Cpl. Robert Daniel Corriveau had been under psychiatric treatment.
Virginia Cleary never gave up.
In the 43 years since her older brother, Marine Cpl. Robert Daniel Corriveau, a decorated Vietnam veteran, went missing from the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and was declared a deserter, she never stopped searching for him.
She wrote countless letters, pestered senators and congressmen, traveled from her New Hampshire home to Philadelphia to search news archives, scoured faces in crowds, battled with military and state officials for records, and enlisted police and private detectives.
Every roadblock she hit, she said, only strengthened her resolve and pushed her forward.
Finally, on May 31, Pennsylvania State Police were able to identify the remains of Corriveau, found stabbed to death in Chester County, and they are now seeking the public's assistance in solving the cold case.
"He was matched through my DNA," said Cleary, 58, of Conway, N.H.
On Nov 18, 1968, the same day the 20-year-old Marine from Lawrence, Mass., disappeared from the hospital, an unidentified man was found dead alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Downingtown interchange.
He was stabbed once though the heart and covered with a Navy pea coat. He carried no identification and became known as "Bulldog John Doe" after the distinctive tattoo on his upper right arm. He was buried at Longwood Cemetery in Kennett Square.
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