Philadelphia releases remains of 2 MOVE bombing victims to family

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Thirty-seven years after the MOVE bombing in West Philadelphia, the remains of two girls were given to their brother Lionell Dotson by the city’s Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday.

“She said, ‘I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. This should never happen to your family,'” Dotson said. “It’s all so real. It’s finally going to come together.”

Lionell was 8 years old when his sisters Katricia and Zanetta Dotson died.

SEE ALSO: Philly publishes independent report on abuse of remains of MOVE bomb victims

Both girls were inside when police dropped a bomb on the MOVE house on Osage Avenue on May 13, 1985. A total of 11 people were killed. The girls were 14 and 12.

“To find out they’re finally coming off that shelf, they should never have been stored on a dark, damp shelf for 37 years. I finally get to take her out of the town that helped kill her,” Dotson said.

“These particular remains, which are being realized today, were simply put in a box and forgotten by the coroner and have been forgotten since 1985,” said attorney Daniel Hartstein.

Last year it was discovered that the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office had some of the girls’ remains.

The health commissioner at the time, Dr. Thomas Farley resigned last year after admitting he had arranged the cremation and disposal of the girls’ partial remains in 2017 without notifying family members. Days after that announcement, the remains turned up in the coroner’s office.

SEE ALSO: MOVE Members Demand Answers About Remains of Missing Children

“I think the city wasn’t worried about the humanity of the victims, it was about itself,” Hartstein said.

Hartstein said the status of the girls’ remaining remains are being investigated, including those used in anthropology classes at the University of Pennsylvania, without the family’s knowledge or consent.

The family continues to evaluate their legal options going forward.

The city released a statement that said, in part, “City officials are meeting with next of kin but will not release specific details out of respect for the families.”

After her remains are cremated, Lionell Dotson will take her back to North Carolina, where he now resides.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Philadelphia releases remains of 2 MOVE bombing victims to family

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