Researchers finish 1st stage in Dozier excavations
(File Photo, MyFoxTampaBay.com)
MARIANNA (FOX 13) -
Researchers are finishing their first attempt at digging up evidence at the former state-operated Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.
The team from USF removed two skeletons from the cemetery behind the school. Now, they'll study them to see if they can identify the bodies and figure out how they died.
Ten families have already contacted the researchers to see if their loved ones are among the remains. Some relatives of boys who died at Dozier have already given their DNA, hoping they can finally find their long-lost loved ones and discover the truth about how they died.
Former students say they were badly abused by staff members.
A cemetery on the school's property contains 31 metal crosses, but the markers don't correspond to the actual interments. The exact locations of burials were never documented.
USF researchers used ground penetrating radar in the cemetery last year and found 50 more undocumented graves. Their research documented a total of 96 boys' deaths.