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University apologizes after losing remains of 2 children killed in Philadelphia’s 1985 MOVE bombing

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 8:13 AM CDT
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW) - The University of Pennsylvania is apologizing for keeping and then losing track of the remains of two young people killed in the 1985 MOVE bombing.

The University of Pennsylvania has retained external legal counsel to figure out why the Ivy League school’s museum for decades held onto the remains.

In a series of statements, the university apologized 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 70′s and 80′s.

Eleven people died after the city bombed the MOVE compound in densely populated West Philadelphia, and the fire that resulted destroyed 61 homes.

The two children were 12 and 14 years old when the city killed them.

“This is a really hard thing for me to talk about because I feel like I am reliving 1985, where they told me that my son was dead,” Janine Africa said.

The two children’s remains were sent to a Penn professor decades 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 that professor Alan Mann, who was initially consulted by the city, took them to Princeton when he retired from Penn.

Both universities said 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,” Africa said. “That is the most disrespectful, hateful thing to do to anybody, but especially children.”

Copyright 2021 KYW via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.