Cause of Death Unknown for Body Found at Dozier School for Boys

It appears we may never know how a 14 year old Central Florida boy died after escaping from the old Dozier School for Boys back in 1940.

Last week, researchers at the University of South Florida announced DNA testing positively identified the remains, from an unmarked grave, as 14 year old George Owen Smith.

Authorities sent Smith to Dozier in 1940, but he ran away in December.

A homeowner found Smith's body in January 1941, decomposing under her house about 2 miles away.

School officials buried Smith on campus.

After the DNA testing, 14th Judicial Medial Examiner Dr. Michael Hunter received Smith's body here in Bay County to look for the cause of death.

But today, Hunter's office says the body was too badly decomposed to determine how Smith died.

The remains are back at the University of South Florida, where Smith's family will pick them up for burial.


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