Researchers: No new graves at former Florida reform school

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Researchers studying underground anomalies at a former Florida Panhandle reform school known for horrific abuse and dozens of unmarked graves say recently discovered earth disturbances don’t contain human remains.

The University of South Florida and the Department of State issued a news release Tuesday. They said the 27 anomalies discovered earlier this year by a contractor using ground-penetrating radar at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna are mostly roots from pine trees removed from the area years ago.

A USF team led by forensic anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle was brought in to study the anomalies after the contractor raised concerns they could be graves.

Kimmerle led a team from 2012 to 2016 that identified 55 graves at the school, which closed in 2011 after more than a century in operation.

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