Inspired to enlist in the U.S. Marines after 9/11, sniper Grady Kurpasi volunteered to fight for Ukraine after the Russians invaded the country. He disappeared on April 26th, 2022 after encountering enemy fire. Back in the United States, his wife Heeson refused to believe that Grady had been killed in action. But for nearly a year, the mystery remained: Where was Grady Kurpasi?

“That’s what sparked my interest,” Aces says. “Grady being Grady, [he] could easily look and sound like a North Korean if he was still alive. But the report didn’t make sense because it said the dude’s face was blasted off. He wouldn’t be able to talk. Did they mistake Grady for a North Korean soldier? And maybe they’re just trying to keep him alive. Which didn’t meet the narrative that we were reading, where they were just cutting people’s heads off. So, in the back of our minds, this [was] a long shot.”

And source after source confirmed the same story.

“It very, very quickly turned from a situation where we didn’t expect to do anything other than recover remains into a very real possibility that he was still alive somewhere,” Josh says. “We had three or four different sightings of him from different people that had no connection to one another.”