PHILADELPHIA (UKTN) – On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office released the remains of two victims of the 1985 MOVE bombing. The remains of Katricia and Zanetta Dotson were found last year.
It was a long time coming for the brother of these two victims. This long journey for Lionel Dotson began in the spring of 2021 when it was revealed that pieces of his two sisters’ remains had been held for decades in the Philly Medical Examiner’s Office and in the Penn Museum.
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But no longer.
Just before Dotson went to collect his sisters’ remains on Wednesday, he wore a T-shirt with pictures of his two sisters. The shirt also reads, “The city of Philadelphia took them from me.”
Katricia and Zanetta were only 12 and 14 years old when they died in the MOVE bombing 37 years ago.
On Wednesday, Lionell Dotson was joined by his family when he met with the city’s coroner. He says the agency immediately apologized to him for the agency’s mishandling of his sisters’ remains, even though the agency was under different management at the time.
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Dotson accepted the apology, but he’s waiting for other city leaders. We also spoke to Dotson about what today means to him.
“The city, to give me this, is a momentous occasion,” said Lionell Dotson. “It’s not about me, it’s about them. Finally giving a resting place. I can do this for them.”
This has taken a long time, what is your message to the city?
“They should have done this and I can’t forgive them for this,” said Lionell Dotson. “I won’t forgive them for this. Mayor Kenney, the police commissioner, they will not apologize to me publicly, I call them cowards.”
Portions of the remains are now cremated at Ivy Hill Cemetery in the East Mount Airy neighborhood of the city.
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Lionell Dotson also tells CBS3 that he plans to fly back home to North Carolina after the cremation to give his sisters a proper burial.