University Researchers Found More Graves at Dozier School of Boys

Who’s buried at the Dozier School for Boys and why did an initial investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement fail to find 19 graves?

These are just a few of the questions state leaders want answered Tuesday.

The panhandle reform school, infamous for alleged abuse, was closed last year.

In 2009, after several former students reported their classmates were killed at Dozier in the 1950s and 60s, FDLE investigated. The department found 31 graves, but no evidence of any crimes.

A team of University Researchers that’s been studying the old Dozier School for Boys in Marianna claims it’s found more graves on the campus.

The group from the University of South Florida Anthropologists and archaeologists released a report Monday saying they’ve uncovered a total of 100 graves, far more than the 31 graves documented in the investigation in 2009.

This only creates new questions about what really happened at the school that housed some of the states most incorrigible boys for more the 100 years.

Dozens of the former inmates, who call themselves the white house boys, say they were beaten and tortured in a little white building on the property.

They also say other boys were killed and buried in secret graves sites.

Researchers used ground penetrating radar, among other tools, to survey the cemetery known as Boot Hill.

They want to do more excavations to find those graves and eventually exhume the remains and determine the cause of death.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam wants to know how the researchers found more graves than the FDLE investigators. “And they both differ in a way that raises questions about why USF found so many more bodies than FDLE.”

FDLE concluded its investigation several years ago. Commissioner Gerald Bailey says he’ll reexamine the department’s report to see why it differs so much from USF’s.

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