MARIANNA, Fla. Decades since leaving the Dozier School for Boys, families still re-live the horror they say took place daily at the reform school..
Regimond Bouie attended Dozier in 1950’s. “It don’t make sense that you go there and can’t come back as a child.” Regimond says he was beaten multiple times in the ‘White House’ in the late 1950’s.
His brother Sam Palmer says their cousin is one of the bodies buried in an unmarked grave, leaving the family with unanswered questions for decades. “I’ve heard a lot of stories, saying children ran away. I don’t believe it at all.”
Bouie and Palmer both say they hope the exhuming of bodies will allow families to provide proper funerals for the love ones who never got to say goodbye. “If you can bring closure to any family, you know I think that’s what it is. You can’t change what happened.”
Researchers uncovered two skeletal remains in unmarked graves. Palmer says his family hopes those skeletal remains will help answer questions his family has had for decades. “I think for us it’s a time for closure.”>
Erin Kimmerle, USF Researcher told us the two bodies removed have been sent to the University of South Florida where DNA testing will begin. “If we can identify those individuals, its an absolute success.”
Even though there is no clear sign these bodies are Palmer’s cousin, Researchers expect to find up to 50 skeletal remains in unmarked graves, leaving surviving family members optimistic answers will be found.
Researchers are planning on returning to exhume more bodies by October or November depending on how much it rains this fall.