In 1925, a runaway from a boys reform school met an untimely end. When researchers tried to find out how he died, they found a disturbing surprise. They opened the casket… and it was empty.
[…] University of South Florida forensic anthropologists dug down 6 feet to Curry’s casket and found a partially intact wooden box. The thumbscrews used to clamp shut the casket were identical to those found in burials on the Florida reform school campus. Atop the casket, they found a small cross, like a rosary necklace.
But inside, there was no body, no human remains. Where the boy should’ve been, they found wood.
The discovery shocked the researchers, Philadelphia archdiocese officials, the Pennsylvania State Police troopers helping and the local assistant district attorney, who expressed his exasperation with quiet expletives as he paced around the burial shaft.
“Where is he?”
The body had been shipped to Philadelphia from Florida where he was buried over his great-grandmother’s casket. It is a mystery what happened to the body. Boys who tried to escape the reform school were brutally beaten. Another report said he died being hit by a train. His cause of death remained unresolved and the evidence has gone missing. Researchers have found other bodies on the grounds of the reform school but they are in too poor condition to determine cause of death.
Days were brutal for troubled kids back then.