Just feet away from their gravesites at the former Dozier School for Boys, skeletal remains exhumed Monday afternoon are ready to be examined.
Anthropologist Erin Kimmerle said, “Preliminary analysis of dental remains show, suggest they are 10 to 13 years old.”
A team of 25 researchers will now take evidence back to the University of South Florida to figure out just who was found in the graves and collect more evidence on the remains.
“More information we can write up a little narrative about that individual and send samples off for DNA testing,” said Kimmerle.
Horror stories from inmates beaten at the 'White House' at the school sparked an investigation in 2008.
Carvings on the walls are the only thing that remains in the halls inside of this building where the cases of the abuse took place.
Researchers started looking at dozens of marked and unmarked graves last year after a law enforcement report was inconclusive. After a political tug of war with local officials, they began exhuming bodies this weekend.
At least 50 bodies are expected to be found in the unmarked graves. Plans are in the works to prepare for a longer dig this fall.
Larry Bedore with the Florida Emergency Mortuary Response System states, “We’ve got to have power and water and sewer and lights. We’ve got to have everything you would need to operate for over a month.”
Researchers will be back at the campus over the next year to search for other forgotten former-students who are believed to be buried in unmarked graves. Their goal is to return any remains to loved ones.
Researchers say further DNA testing will be sent to the University of North Texas which will help the group identify the remains found over the weekend.