Pam Bondi filed petition for Dozier exhumation - WFLA News Channel 8

Pam Bondi filed petition for Dozier School cemetery exhumation

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A team of University of South Florida anthropologists will working to detail the number and locations of graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Photo provided by USF. A team of University of South Florida anthropologists will working to detail the number and locations of graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Photo provided by USF.
TALLAHASSEE, FL -

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office filed a petition to get a court order for exhumation of human remains on the site of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. The site of "Boot Hill Cemetery" and surrounding areas is believed to have many unmarked graves of students at Dozier who died between 1900 and 1952.

The petition was signed on behalf of Dr. Michael Hunter, the appointed Medical Examiner for the Fourteenth District of Florida. Bondi said she would do anything in her power to support the investigation of the unexplained deaths and "bring closure to the families who lost loved ones."

"The deaths that occurred at Dozier School for Boys in Marianna are cloaked in mystery, and the surviving family members deserve a thorough examination of the site," Bondi said.

Senator Bill Nelson publicly supported the investigation into the deaths of Dozier students.

"This is a critical step forward to bring closure to the families," he said about the petition. "I commend Attorney General Pam Bondi."  

Dozier School for Boys known as a reform school or Florida School for Boys closed in 2011 after more than a hundred years of operation. Former Dozier students told us severe beatings were the form of punishment there.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement and University of South Florida researchers found dozens of graves with students' remains on the school property. USF researchers said there would be more.

If exhumation is ordered, the medical examiner's office would be able to identify those remains and conduct complete autopsies to determine cause of death for the students buried on the site.

Bondi in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection also supported a 150-day extension of an injunction barring the sale of the state-owned land the cemetery is located on.

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