FERNLEY, NV - Decades after George Benson Webster was reported missing, his body was discovered about a year ago. He was finally laid to rest Wednesday, September 3, 2014, but his death remains a mystery.
As with all veteran funerals, the tribute begins with a 21-Gun Salute. On Wednesday, the gunfire saluted the decorated Vietnam War veteran whose life ended in a mystery. "George was murdered a long time ago and he's waited all this time to get a proper burial service," said Sheriff Gerald Antinoro of Storey County.
Webster was reported missing in 1980 by his mother, who passed away before she found out what became of him 34 years later.
"The coroner investigation, which is what we've done, it took some time but we finally found out George did have a son," he added.
Robert Schaumburg hadn't seen his father since he was a child, but it was still a shock to find out his estranged father's body was discovered in a Virginia City septic tank just a year ago.
"I'll be absolutely honest with you, I don't know enough about him," Schaumburg said.
"He didn't know anything, any of this about his dad so he's had quite the adventure finding out who his dad was," said Sheriff Antinoro.
Throughout the investigation, Schaumburg discovered that his father was a Vietnam War automechanic who embraced the mountain man culture in Storey County.
"I think that's helped Robert come to terms with his dad not being in his life as he grew up," said Sheriff Antinoro.
"I feel relieved. I feel relieved that that whole portion of it is at an end and that he is put to rest where he belongs among his fellow veterans," said Schaumburg.
However, justice has yet to be served. Authorities are asking for the public's help to piece together what happened to Webster.
"Nothing is too small. It might lead us down some path that we have not yet discovered," said Sheriff Antinoro.
Authorities determined Webster died from blunt force trauma to the head. They're asking if anyone knew him in the late 1970s to call Secret Witness at 322-4900.