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When Never Found the Body is subverted -- after a long time. It can be an emotional scene, as friends and family can finally take their loved one to a final resting place. (This can also be used to settle any Wild Mass Guessing that claims that the character may have survived after all.)
This is, sadly, often Truth in Television.
- An episode of CSI has a woman lose her daughter, son and husband in a car accident. The son ends up being in a box in her attic.
- Very often the break in the case on Cold Case Files.
- And on the fictional version, Cold Case, for the episodes where it was a missing persons case that went cold, rather than a murder case--although we the audience have already seen the victim's body at the beginning of the episode and know that he/she is dead.
- Bones: Exty years after Brennan's parents disappeared (when she was 13), the body of her mother is found. Many other episodes involve this as well only for victims unrelated to the main cast.
- In Final Watch, Anton believes that Kostya's body has never been found after the events of Twilight Watch. Geser proves him wrong.
- Real Life: The body of Anastasia Romanov was finally found, disproving all who claimed to be her.
- In Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, it's Frank Bennet's truck that's finally found, giving evidence to the cause of his disappearance. When the Cafe is being bulldozed, a skull with a glass eye is found in the garden. Guess what Frank's left eye was made of...
- Truth in Television: The news as of December 2010 is all abuzz with having found bones that may belong to Amelia Earheart. The famed aviatrix vanished in The Thirties.
- In a 1970 episode of the soap All My Children, a teen named Bobby Martin goes up in his family's attic to wax his skis. The actor was then abruptly fired and so Bobby was never seen again. Years later, the show lampshaded this by having a character go into the same attic and find a skeleton with a pair of skis, wearing a ski hat with "Bobby" on it—a comedic example of a Bus Crash.
- In the old Italian(?) story "Ginevra", the title character's body is found in a trunk, years after she vanished while playing hide-and-seek on the eve of her wedding... she'd accidentally locked herself in.
- There was a news about a woman who found the body of her son, who had hanged himself in the basement years earlier. Nobody had happened to have gone into that room since then. They had thought he ran away from home.
- Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey revolves around the disappearance of Patrick Ashby, who left a suicide note but his body was not found. The body turns up near the end of the novel, many years later.
- Vertical Limit: The old climbers wife is found, along with evidence that one of her fellow climbers had caused her death to save himself.
- Used very poignantly in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the original novel), where a group of Paris sewer cleaners stumble upon the long-rotted remains of Quasimodo and Esmeralda. Together.
- Referenced in Lust over Pendle when Draco is escaping Malfoy Manor while it's under attack from the Ministry. The Bride is a family ghost who, legend has it, is supposed to have been a Muggle who married into the family, only to vanish during the wedding celebrations after everyone had gotten snowed in and someone decided it'd be a good idea to play a game of hide-and-seek. Her body was found several years later, locked in a trunk. The Bride, by the way, guards one of the alternate escape routes - the one Draco ends up having to use - and demands a password from Draco before she'll let him past. He figures out the right one.
- Happens more than once in Detective Conan, specially in the case of Sanae Kouda and her Knight Templar Big Brother Masao.
- In new Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck comes back from the dead and finds her own body. She and the deeply religious Cylon Leoben are completely freaked out by it. He actually takes off.
- In the novel Blackwater, Brodie thinks Otis might be the one sending him notes pressuring him to tell the truth about how Pauline died, but then Otis' body is found at the bottom of the river.
- In the Pretty Little Liars series, Alison's body is found buried behind her house long, long after she goes missing.
- The victim in the Sano Ichiro novel The Fire Kimono. He was thought to have been killed in a massive fire that ravaged Edo, but his body is found decades later under a tree toppled by a windstorm. Rather than being burned, there were signs he had been killed with a sword, starting Sano's investigation.
- In the British series Case Histories the detective is charged with finding a girl who disappeared thirty years ago. He finds her in her neighbor's garden.
- In the Death Note fic A Cure for Love when V begins work on the Kira case, she finds Naomi Misora's body.