‘Birdie Africa,’ child of MOVE, dies at 41
Michael Moses Ward, known in 1985 as Birdie Africa, has died at 41. Ward was the lone child survivor of the M.O.V.E. bombing that left 11 people dead when police dropped an explosive from a heliopter above the 6200-block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia following an ongoing confrontation with the radical group.
Cory Johnson, an investigator for the Medical Examiner’s office in Brevard County, Fla., confirmed to WHYY that Ward was found unconscious in a hot tub on the Carinval Dream cruise ship in the Caribbean.
Johnson said initial signs indicated an accidental drowning, but the office will await the return of toxicology tests before determining a cause of death.
“There were no signs of trauma, nothing suspicious or anything,” Johnson said. He said the toxicology results typically take from three to 12 weeks.
Ward was with his father and other relatives on the cruise, according to one report. Ward’s mother died in the 1985 bombing and Ward was reunited with his father in 1986.
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