Report: Colvin's body on way from Syria

Marie Colvin of the British Sunday Times gives Marie Colvin of the British Sunday Times gives the address during a service at St. Bride's Church in London. (Nov. 10, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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The body of journalist Marie Colvin, a Long Island native killed in Syria, will soon be brought to her final resting place on Long Island, relatives and humanitarian groups confirmed Friday.

The family was told it could be up to a week until Colvin's remains are returned to New York.

"It is a relief," said her mother, Rosemarie Colvin, of East Norwich.

"It's a bittersweet moment, of course," said Cathleen Colvin of Oyster Bay, a younger sister. "We are happy to bring her home, but we wish we could have brought her home alive."

An activist video that surfaced online Thursday showed that Marie Colvin, 56, a foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, had been buried in the Baba Amr district of Homs alongside French photographer Rémi Ochlik.

Both were killed Feb. 22 during heavy shelling as the Syrian government crushed rebels.

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The Syrian military retrieved the journalists' bodies after regaining control of the area.

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that the bodies were transported in a convoy to the Syrian capital. From Damascus, they are expected to be taken to Lebanon and then handed over to the United States and France.

"They were taken out by Syrian Red Cross ambulance, which handed the bodies to us outside the area," said the spokesman, Simon Schorno in Washington, D.C.

Cathleen Colvin said the family helped to confirm the identity of the remains. She said they provided information to officials in Damascus about "unique features that were permanent" on Colvin's body, such as scarring from shrapnel that hit her while interviewing separatist rebels in Sri Lanka in 2001.

Since that incident, Marie Colvin had worn a distinctive black patch over the eye she lost while reporting from other war zones.

Relatives have yet to work out details, but they plan to have a funeral service on Long Island followed by a memorial tribute. The family will post updates on mariecolvin.org.

Rosemarie Colvin said the memorial will give those who loved and admired her daughter a chance to come together "so we could honor her life."

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