There was a special homecoming in Wilcox County on Thursday that was nearly 70 years in the making.

Army Cpl. Leslie Sutton, 24, of Rochelle was serving in the Korean War in 1950

In October of that year, his unit - Battery C, 99th Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division - was ordered to take over positions in North Korea.

Heavy fighting ensued with the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces. Sutton and his comrades were in danger of being overwhelmed and the regiment received orders to withdraw on Nov. 1, 1950, according to the U.S. Army.

After days of searching other units and hospitals, Sutton was reported missing and the Army declared him dead Dec. 31, 1953.

His remains were identified recently thanks to an agreement in 2000 when North Korea allowed search teams to collect soldiers' remains from the battle field.

Sutton's niece, Vivian White, was notified in April that her uncle's remains were found.

His remains were returned home Thursday to his family in Rochelle for burial.

Sutton's body was flown into Atlanta and escorted by the Georgia State Patrol and the Patriot Guard Riders all the way to Wilcox County.

"It's just a matter of finalizing it and putting him where our grandmother wanted his remains to be," White said. "His soul was taken care of back in 1950."

The Department of Defense says there are still more than 7,000 unaccounted for troops from the Korean War.