Major Investigation Underway After Remains Of 2 Children Killed In 1985 MOVE Bombing Nowhere To Be Found
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A major investigation is now underway after a disturbing revelation. There is outrage over the handling of human remains from the MOVE bombing.
The University of Pennsylvania has retained external legal counsel to figure out why the Ivy League school's museum held onto the remains of a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old who were killed in the 1985 MOVE bombing for decades.
In a series of statements, the university is apologizing to the Africa family, the remaining members of a pro-revolutionary organization that was entangled in a heated standoff with police and the city in the 1970s and 80s.
Eleven members of MOVE died after the city bombed their compound, located on Osage Avenue in densely populated West Philadelphia. Firefighters stood down, allowing the flames to spread. Dozens of homes were incinerated.
The Africa family faced TV cameras and questions this morning.
"This is a really hard thing for me to talk about because I feel like I'm reliving 1985 when they told me that my son was dead," Janine Africa said.
Among the dead were two teens whose remains were sent to a Penn professor years ago for post-mortem identification and analysis. The Africa family claims they never knew about that.
And over the years, knowledge of who had custody of the remains became unclear. It's alleged the professor who was initially consulted by the city took the remains to Princeton when he retired from Penn.
Both schools say they don't have them.
"They have desecrated what they say are their remains, defiled them, and had them hidden away on exhibit as a learning tool for their students. That is the most disrespectful, hateful thing to do to anybody, but especially children," Africa said.
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