Graves Found at Reform School; 50 Unmarked Graves Discovered in Florida
on Dec 11, 2012 05:25 PM EST
At least 50 graves were discovered on the grounds of a former boys' reform school in Florida.
Soil samples and data gathered from ground-penetrating radar have been analyzed by investigators who reported the news on Monday about the Dozier School in Marianna, Fla.
School records had reported that 31 boys were buried at the school, according to WMBB, and the original estimate of 19 unmarked graves found continued to grow as new evidence was discovered.
After several months of extensive field work, the research team was able to find a minimum of 50 grave shafts in the area of the cemetery and surrounding wooded area.
The investigators comprised of archeologists, anthropologists and forensic specialists have found additional grave shafts near the cemetery on the school grounds. The latest report was released to the state on Monday from the University of South Florida in Tampa, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The now abandoned school located on the state's panhandle has had many allegations of child abuse and deaths that surrounds the school which operated for over a 100 years.
Investigators first started looking into the site in 2011 by combing through state records and the school's records to try to solve a host of mysterious claims involving disappearances. It was discovered that the school misreported a number of occurrences including accidents and medical practices.
Researchers plan on returning to the school for possible exhumations in January. However, the investigators are trying to handle the operation as smoothly as possible by trying to work with the families involved.
"First and foremost to us are the rights of the families and people's rights to have justice and accountability for their families," said assistant anthropology professor Erin Kimmerle, as reported by Reuters.
The investigators hope to identify the bodies found and bring closure to the families of children.
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