USF researchers give glimpse into investigation of 27 possible graves at Dozier

MARIANNA, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - University of South Florida researchers investigating 27 possible graves at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna are giving the public the first look at the dig since beginning their work earlier this week.

The investigation was ordered by the Department of State following a routine environmental cleanup on the former school grounds that accidentally identified the anomalies while using ground-penetrating radar. (Capitol News Service)

The investigation was ordered by the Department of State following a routine environmental cleanup on the former school grounds that accidentally identified the anomalies while using ground-penetrating radar.

USF forensic anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle is heading the investigation. She said the length of the dig will depend on what they find.

“We take the soil off in very small layers in order to expose it, you know, very controlled methodology, and document what’s there. So if something turns out to be a human burial then obviously that stops and the process becomes very slow,” said Dr. Kimmerle. “If it’s not a human burial, if it’s something like tree roots or buried trash or other things, the process can go a little bit quicker because we still document it, but move on.”

More than 40 remains of former students were uncovered in 2013, but a group of surviving Dozier students known as the White House Boys have insisted more boys still remain on the grounds.