Disturbing discovery at Dozier revealed - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Disturbing discovery at Dozier revealed

Posted: Updated:
A team of researchers shared their findings at Dozier A team of researchers shared their findings at Dozier
Researchers found personal items in the graves Researchers found personal items in the graves
Researchers found coffin handles and a marble in some graves Researchers found coffin handles and a marble in some graves
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A team of researchers from the University of South Florida said they have located additional bodies at the Dozier School for Boys.

The announcement comes after a nearly 2-year-long project to locate and identify remains at the former reform school.

Excavation work began last September and continued through December over some local objection from residents near the former school in the Florida Panhandle.

The team led by Associate Professor Dr. Erin Kimmerle says they have located a total of 55 burials at the school. That is 24 more burials than officials records indicate.

"Locating 55 burials is a significant finding, which opens up a whole new set of questions for our team," said Kimmerle

The teams reports recovering bones, teeth and numerous artifacts in every one of the 55 burial locations.

Dr. Kimmerle says the team hopes to identify the remains to provide answers for families across the state who believe they may have loved ones buried at the school.

"This project has always been about fulfilling a fundamental human right for families, who like all of us, have a right to know what happened to their loved ones and are entitled to bury their relatives in a manner which they deem proper," said Kimmerle.

Ovell Krell believes her brother may be among those buried there.

Krell says her brother was sent to the reform school in 1940 and her family never saw him again.

"I can't even get a death certificate for my brother, because they never even reported him dead..," said Krell

Robert Strayley was sent to the school as a young man in 1963. He believes the research team will discover even more graves.

"In those early years between 1900 and 1920 when nobody's life was worth anything if you were a prisoner, I don't think they bothered with a cemetery at all. I think they just threw 'em in a hole, maybe multiple bodies, threw 'em in a swamp and covered it up,"  said Strayley.

Researchers say they will continue looking for additional unmarked burials on school grounds.


  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.