TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- State lawmakers are committing to set aside funding for the University of South Florida so its researchers can go ahead with a plan to exhume bodies at the controversial, former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.
The Florida House and Senate have agreed to put $200,000 in the state budget next year for USF anthropologists to open up the graves.
A USF team led by anthropologist Erin Kimmerle discovered nearly 50 unmarked graves on the school's property last year. State leaders have said they want to find the truth about the mysterious deaths that happened there in the 1900s.
Some former students allege the school's staff committed atrocities, so bodies will be exhumed to determine a cause of death.
Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, pushed for the USF funding.
"We want to make sure that this is funded so that we can continue to go on with the investigations and really find out what happened so we can bring closure to these families and closure to the situation for the state of Florida."
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is seeking a court order to exhume the bodies. A judge has not ruled yet on that petition.
First Coast News