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Arthur G. Dozier School For Boys

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Arthur G. Dozier School For Boys, On the second day of an excavation project, University of South Florida researchers worked Sunday on two graves at a former reform school in the Florida Panhandle where students say they were abused decades ago.

The researchers continued the slow, painstaking process of unearthing remains in the hopes of identifying those buried at the now-closed Arthur G. Dozier School in the Panhandle. The digging and work will go on through Tuesday.

Researchers are exhuming graves at a former reform school in hopes of learning how they died, who they were. (AP)

“We are making really good progress,” Erin Kimmerle, the USF anthropologist leading the excavation, said Sunday. Preservation of the remains in the first coffin were good, she said. Cranial and teeth fragments were found, along with coffin hardware such as nails and handles.

A second coffin found deeper underground will be opened later Sunday, Kimmerle said.

The remains of about 50 people are in the graves, she said. Some are marked with a plain, white steel cross, and others have no markings.

“Some are very decorative, which can help come up with a date,” she said.

Researchers also hope to learn how the boys died at the school, which opened in 1900 and shut down two years ago for budgetary reasons.

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