She promised her parents on both of their deathbeds that she would never stop searching for her brother, Owen Smith.
And even at 85-years-old, Ovell Krell never gave up hope that she would one day locate her long-lost sibling. 74 years after she last saw Owen, Ovell finally located her brother. But this sad story unfortunately doesn’t have a happy ending.
No one in her family had seen him since he was sent to the Florida School for Boys as part of his punishment for stealing a car in 1940. Owen was only 14. Here's the crazy story.
The school was notorious for their brutal treatment of students. Soon after Owen arrived at the academy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were given the tragic news that their son died of pneumonia after running away from campus. But the details didn’t add up and Ovell and her parents always believed that Owen was still out there.
Knowing of the school’s history of mistreating pupils, University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle unearthed the graves of 31 boys who were buried on campus after dying in a dormitory fire or from illness.
But Kimmerle didn’t discover 31 bodies. She found 55.
The first remains retrieved were DNA tested and tested positive as being Owen Smith!
Ovell Krell’s brother was located at last.
She spoke about the moment she heard the incredible news, saying:
"It was a total and complete surprise. It shocked me totally numb for a moment. I couldn't say a word."
Unfortunately, medical teams still can’t determine how Owen died. Some of his fellow students have said in the past that he was shot while trying to escape.
We may never know the truth behind Owen’s death. But we’re happy that after seven decades, Ovell has the closure she’s wanted for so long.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: crime, death, family, florida, florida school for boys, legal matters, ovell krell, owen smith, sad sad, school, stories, super seniors