KANSAS CITY, MO - The remains of a Kansas City native and the first American lost in the Gulf War have been found in Iraq. It ends nearly two decades of questions about what happened to naval pilot, Captain Scott Speicher. The discovery of his remains leaves feelings of sorrow, appreciation, and closure.

In the desert of west central Iraq, military investigators unearthed the remains of Scott Speicher and unlocked the 18-year mystery of what happened to the navy officer.

The news, for everyone hoping he'd come home alive...

"A little sad, but a little proud in regards to Scott Speicher," said Pat Roberts, Kansas U.S. Senator. "It's been a long, long situation for us and of course the family."

Roberts has been alongside Speicher's family and friends in their search for the father, husband, and naval aviator.

Michael Scott Speicher was born and raised in Kansas City until the age of 15. He attended Winnetonka High School, and as a young teen served in the Civil Air Patrol. John Williams, who served with him, and provided pictures and remembers the teenage Speicher as a "feisty little guy."

Williams, who now lives south of the metro, said he was stunned when he heard Speicher was shot down on the first night of the Gulf War back in 1991. Williams figured he was dead, and that's what the military initially declared him, but the lack of remains, statements from other troops who believed Speicher ejected from his plane and was captured, and then leads found in an ensuing investigation led officials over the years to change his status to "missing in action" then later "missing-captured."

It finally took the help of an Iraqi citizen to lead military investigators to a crash site, and the positive identification of Speicher's remains. And while it wasn't the news they wanted, everyone close to Speicher appreciates the effort to bring him home.

"We do have closure, we did preserve, and it just indicates in regard to the U.S. Military, we don't leave people behind," said Roberts.

Speicher leaves behind a son and a daughter. His wife remarried a friend of Speicher's 18 months after he was shot down. They now live in Florida.