University of South Florida
CAS researchers find additional bodies at Dozier School for Boys[01.28.2014]
TAMPA, Fla. -- Researchers from the University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences have located and excavated the remains of 55 people in a graveyard at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys -- five more bodies than previous fieldwork had indicated might be there and 24 more burials than official records indicate should be there.
The team of more than 50 people from nine agencies is attempting to identify the remains, as well as any information on cause of death from those buried at the now closed reform school. Using cutting-edge scientific methods, DNA matches and advanced technology, scientists working on the nearly two-year-old project aim to identify the bodies buried at the school in Marianna, Fla., which has been the subject of repeated state and federal investigations and claims of brutality and child abuse during its 100-year history.
On Tuesday, researchers from USF updated the public on the status of the research. Department of Anthropology Associate Professor Erin Kimmerle, the project’s leader, announced several key developments:
Researchers are searching for the additional families. Anyone with information is asked to contact Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Master Detective Greg Thomas at (813) 247-8678.
“Locating 55 burials is a significant finding, which opens up a whole new set of questions for our team,” Kimmerle said. “At this time, we know very little about the burials and the children in terms of who specifically was buried there, their ages or ancestry, as well as the timing and circumstances of their deaths.
“All of the analyses needed to answer these important questions are yet to be done. But it is our intention to and answer as many of these questions as possible,” she added.
The Dozier project is funded by both the State of Florida and the National Institute of Justice.
“I am very pleased that we are playing a critical role in the forensic investigations at the former Dozier School,” said Greg Ridgeway, the acting director of the National Institute of Justice. “The National Institute of Justice has paved the way to ever-more advanced and effective uses of forensics in solving crimes, and I am confident that the discoveries made by the USF team will not only bring resolution to these cases but will add to our knowledge about investigations of missing and unidentified persons in jurisdictions across the country.”
Filed under:Arts and Sciences Anthropology Research CreditsAuthor: Staff Report Contact: