MARIANNA, Fla. — One of the Sunshine State’s darkest chapters is secreted in red clay and cemented by soaking nightmares, according to WFTS.
“I’d wake up and tears would be coming out of my eyes,” Terry Burns said. “We’ve always said there’s more dead boys on there.”
Burns, of Bradenton, spent nine months at the Dozier School for Boys. The state closed it in 2011 after decades of sexual and physical abuse claims. Just a year later, University of South Florida researchers carefully excavated dozens of unmarked graves and inside found boys’ remains who died mysteriously under state custody.
“Unanswered questions serve nobody and that the memory of the children require us to pursue any questions that come up,” said Rev. Russell Meyer with the Florida Council of Churches.
Now, a new preliminary report shows a private contractor clearing away large pine trees detected 27 anomalies consistent with possible graves.
“If there are human remains there, they are more than likely African-American,” Rev. Meyer said.
The possible graves were found as county officials cleaned up buried pollution on the Dozier School’s 1,400 acres.
Gov. Ron Desantis is now asking USF as well as a local reverend to work together.
“Careful, deliberate excavation by hand in the areas of the anomalies to determine what’s in the ground there?” Rev. Meyer said.
In an email, USF researcher Dr. Erin Kimmerle stressed the importance of “fieldwork for the next phase” for a “resolution.”
“The fear of that school… it still lingers in my mind,” he said.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 12, 2019