BOYNTON BEACH (CBSMiami) — A human bone that washed ashore after Hurricane Irma in 2017 belonged to a 17-year-old boy who vanished in the ocean six years ago.
Rodelson Normil got caught in a rip current near Gulf Stream Park, just north of Delray Beach, and was swept into the Atlantic Ocean.
“Six years ago, and I’m still thinking about him almost every day,” said Roger Normil, the teen’s father.
Normil, originally from Haiti, said his son had attended Boynton Beach Community High School student and had a bright future. He wanted to be an engineer.
But that all changed on May 31, 2013, when Normil went missing in the water.
Multiple agencies including Gulf Stream police, Palm Beach County Marine Unit and the U.S. Coast Guard searched for two days.
Normil’s body was never found.
On Monday, Lt. John Haseley, who responded to the scene that day, said the femur bone that the Gulf Stream family discovered after the 2017 storm was rushed to a lab at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification.
“We actually obtained his [Rodelson] DNA from a toothbrush that was taken,” he said. “We did comparisons for his family, his father, and mother, and that’s all we had to work on.”
Test results from the university determined the femur bone belonged to Normil.
“I wish the ending would’ve been better, more positive than the day it happened. But unfortunately, it wasn’t,” Haseley said.
As of Monday, the police department has since closed the case and deemed “accidental drowning” as Normil’s cause of death.