USF Researchers Request Permit from State Archaeologist to Exhume Bodies at Dozier

Attorney General Pam Bondi says USF researchers have requested a permit from the State Archaeologist to allow them to exhume bodies at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

Last week Circuit Judge William Wright denied the petition to exhume bodies from the old Dozier School for Boys property in Marianna. State Attorney General Pam Bondi filed the petition on behalf of District Medical Examiner Michael Hunter.

State officials were prepared to give 200,000 dollars to the University of South Florida to help with the exhumations.

The money was earmarked specifically for USF researcher, Dr. Erin Kimmerle and her team to excavate the grave sites.

Bondi had requested the sites be exhumed to determine what's inside.

Former students of the Marianna reform school claim staff members killed classmates and buried them on campus.

Jackson County had filed an injunction against the request.

Judge Wright ordered state prosecutors to answer a list of questions by May 15th, before he'd rule on the request to exhume. Last week, he decision was made. It says the petition is denied because "The petitoner failed to meet the threshold for an order granting exhumation in a civil case, if one is needed under the circumstances, because the interim report prepared by USF does not provide any information or opinion regarding what physical evidence is likely to be found that will lead to the identification of the remains or a determination of the causes of death."

Bondi released a statement last week saying she remain committed to assisting with the efforts to help resolve unanswered questions regarding deaths at the Dozier School for Boys. In light of the adverse ruling, we will be meeting with the interested parties and considering the next course of action to explore other avenues."


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