Family of missing Tulsa man from 1974 hopes his remains were recently exhumed in Kansas

Posted at 8:38 PM, Oct 24, 2016

TULSA -- A body exhumed in Kansas last week could be linked to a Tulsa man missing since 1974.

As investigators look for a DNA match, one Green Country family says the similarities with their loved one's disappearance are striking.

There's no guarantee DNA will match the remains to Alan Wayne Soper, who went missing from Tulsa in 1974, but his family says the discovery has brought them new hope.

"It's like everyone's worst nightmares," Michael Soper, Alan's brother said. "You hear about this in the news all the time and you don't think it's going to happen to you, but it can."

The recent discovery is proof of that. Officials say the body could be a victim of serial killer, Cecil Henry Floyd, who admitted to killing 11 people across the country, one of them in Kansas.

One of the victims - a hitchhiker.

The Soper family, now looking for a loved one missing for decades.

"Family meant a lot to him and home meant a lot to him," Juene Soper, Alan's mother said.

That's why when Alan Soper went missing 42 years ago, his disappearance became a mystery.

The 22-year-old vanished while traveling across the country, trading work for rides with truckers.

"He told them that he would call them on the way and the last they heard was June 7," Michael Soper said. "And they never heard from him again."

Alan had just graduated from OSU and was ready to see the country. His last known location was Sacramento, California.

"Not only did they lose their son, they lost the opportunity to be grandparents," Michael said. "I lost a brother. I lost an opportunity to be an uncle."

Juene says there isn't a day that goes by she doesn't think about her son.

Not knowing if she'll ever be able to give her son a proper burial, she says she does what she can to get by.

"Well we had therapy, my husband and I, and they said remember the happy things about him and that was a big thing," Juene said. "He said that's what you must do."

She cherishes old photos of Alan, from his childhood to his teen years. His love for life is apparent in these images.

The photos remind her of a love she and Alan's brother can hold on to, even when the thought of his disappearance is hard to bare.

Alan Soper is the only person reported missing in Tulsa in 1974 who is still missing.

His family now relying on DNA testing for closure.

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