CINCINNATI, FEB. 12 -- Gloria Davis, mother of a U.S. Marine killed Jan. 29 during combat in Saudi Arabia, said today that the Marine Corps will not tell her where her son's body is or when the remains will be brought home.

Davis, mother of Lance Cpl. James Lumpkins, said she wants to meet her son's body at the Cincinnati airport. But the Marine officer overseeing the funeral arrangements, Lt. Michael Hill, was unwilling to tell her where the body was or when it would arrive, she said.

Hill said that Davis can meet her son's body at Greater Cincinnati International Airport and that she will be told as soon as the body arrives there. He said he does not know when that will happen.

Lumpkins, 22, was killed while repelling an Iraqi assault on the Saudi Arabian town of Khafji.

"I want to know why the Marines have taken so long to get all of this straightened out," Davis said from her home in New Richmond about 15 miles southeast of Cincinnati. "This just keeps going on and on. I want to know where my son's body is.

"They told us last Friday that his body would {arrive} here in three or four days. His body has still not arrived. . . . He has been dead since the 29th, and I still do not know where my son's body is."

Chief Warrant Officer Randy Gaddo, a spokesman at Marine headquarters, said a body believed to be that of Lumpkins was at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware with two other bodies, undergoing tests intended to identify the remains positively.

"We're obligated to ensure that the ID is positive so the remains that are brought back are indeed those of the person being returned to the family," Gaddo said. "Obviously, if it were routine, it would have been done by now. It's not routine. There was more extensive procedures that had to be instituted.

"We regret that it takes as long as it takes. We understand the families are going through a lot," Gaddo said. "We wouldn't be doing this if we didn't have to. The Marine Corps are people. We have sons and daughters serving in the gulf also."

Gaddo said the Marines are not trying to discourage attention to casualties in the gulf fighting.

"We've already said there were casualties," Gaddo said. "We've identified the casualties. It would serve no purpose to keep their families from getting their loved ones back. It would serve no purpose, and there's no intention to do that."