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2 skeletons found in initial digging at Florida's former Dozier School

Sept. 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM   |   Comments

MARIANNA, Fla., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Researchers Tuesday wrapped up their initial digging for human remains at the former state-run Dozier School for Boys in Florida, WTVT-TV, Tampa, reported.

The TV station said the team from the University of South Florida, which had been working at the cemetery behind the former school in Marianna since last week, has removed two skeletons. The researchers will now try to identify the bodies and determine how they died.

WTVT-TV said 10 families had been contacted as part of the effort to identify the remains. Some relatives of boys believed to have died at the former school have given their DNA in hopes of finding a match.

USF researchers employed radar to find 50 undocumented graves last year. Their research documented a total of 96 boys' deaths at the school, which operated from 1900 to 2011. Dozens of remains may be found eventually, if the researchers' initial testing proves accurate.

A group of men who call themselves the Black Boys of Dozier and the White House Boys have come forward with stories of physical and sexual abuse at the school in the 1950s and 1960s. Others have told about boys who disappeared and others who were beaten by guards.

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