BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — 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.
Gulf Stream police alerted Rodelson Normil’s family about the recent discovery last week.
Normil got caught in a rip current near Gulfstream Park and was swept into the Atlantic Ocean in 2013.
“Six years ago, and I’m still thinking about him almost every day,” said Roger Normil, the teen’s father.
Normil, originally from Haiti, says his son was a Boynton Beach Community High School student and had a bright future. He wanted to be an engineer.
“I believe in God and he could be around me right now,” Normil said.
It was May 31, 2013 when Gulf Stream police responded to 4001 N. Ocean Boulevard in response to a missing person in the water.
According to police, multiple agencies including Palm Beach County Marine Unit and the U.S. Coast Guard searched for two days.
But Normil's body was never found.
On Monday, Lt.John Haseley, who responded to the scene that day, sat down with CBS12 News to discuss the case.
Haseley 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.