NewsLocal News


Florida group to excavate Dozier School in July

Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 18:24:03-04

MARIANNA, Fla. — Just months ago, mysterious and possibly human remains were found on the site of a notorious boys school. Just four years before that, more human remains were uncovered.

A group of people dedicated to providing closure to the families of missing boys from the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna met Thursday to talk about plans moving forward.

Their goal is to provide closure for the families of those victims.

The next steps are to use cutting edge technology to search underground in the area in hopes of uncovering more. But they also want to continue to test what they have found and possibly even provide answers for families that have spent decades asking questions.

It's a dark stain on Florida's history.

"Everybody likes closure," said Gustavo Barreiro, a former state representative and advocate.

The Arthur G. Dozier School housed boys from 1900 until 2011. The closing of the school came shortly after human remains were found on the campus.

"Hundreds have come out throughout the state, throughout the country," said Barreiro. "Telling their stories of horrific abuse, about the rape room, about the beatings they took."

Now, the Department of State is working to bring answers to the people affected by the Arthur G. Dozier School in Jackson County.

"This is a subject that this administration takes very seriously and we will handle correctly," said Laurel Lee, the secretary of state.

The administration set aside $850,000 to investigate the findings. The state is also partnering with the University of South Florida and Jackson County to use cutting edge technology to search for even more secrets below the grounds.

"Lidar will be a baseline method to determine if there appears ot be any below ground anomalies," said Lee.

But while many people are expecting to find answers about their missing loved ones, the Jackson County Sheriff says they shouldn't get too excited.

"I don't want to jump to conclusions that its one thing or the other at this point," said Sheriff Lou Roberts. "It's an open investigation."

Despite his caution, people still remain hopeful that there will be answers at the end of the investigation.

The investigation is expected to begin in mid-July. The property will be closed to cars and foot traffic. Only investigators will be allowed at the site.