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New idea to exhume bodies at controversial former Dozier School for Boys

5:09 PM, May 29, 2013   |    comments
  • Fla. Attorney General Pam Bondi
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The idea to exhume bodies at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna can move ahead without a court order, according to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

He and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi have been pursuing an effort to exhume about 50 graves to investigate mysterious deaths at the school during the 20th Century.

It's believed the property contains bodies of students who died there but were never accounted for.

A judge recently rejected Bondi's request for a court order to exhume bodies, but the judge writes the work could proceed under the supervision of a medical examiner or Florida's chief archaeologist.

Judge William Wright said the medical examiner has jurisdiction if the bodies have been buried less than 75 years or are possibly part of a criminal investigation.

He said the State Archaeologist would have jurisdiction if the remains have been buried more than 75 years.

Now Sen. Nelson is asking Bondi for an opinion on what should happen next.

A spokeswoman says the attorney general's office continues to meet with USF researchers, the NAACP, and families to determine the best course of action to continue investigating unmarked graves on the property.

Dave Heller

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