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FDLE Finds No Evidence of Abuse

May 15th, 2009 by flanews

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has identified the cause of death in all but five of the 31 unidentified graves near a state reform school.

The investigation started after former students came forward with stories of torture and murder at the hands of staff. The students attended the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna in the 1950s. FDLE says 24 of the graves hold the remains of people who died of illness or by accident. The department believes the five graves still in question contain the remains of people who died of a flu epidemic in the 1920s. FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the department conducted a tireless investigation.

The existence of the cemetery was known by the school staff and we found evidence to suggest this was a secret or hidden cemetery. In our quest to determine the identities of the individuals buried at the grave site we conducted an extensive and exhausted review of available records. Our investigators spend hundreds of hours viewing school letter and reports, retrieving death certificates, analyzing archives of news accounts and interviewing former residents and staff, said Bailey.

Former students of the Dozier School for Boys sparked the investigation after they called on Governor Charlie Crist to take action. The men named their group the White House Boys. The White House is the building where many students were beaten, and according to the group some of the students who were taken to the White House were never seen again.

Posted in Children, Criminal Justice, State News | 5 Comments »

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