Dozier School for Boys

It's one of history’s enduring mysteries: what happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart?

A University of South Florida researcher is joining National Geographic in trying to answer that question.

University of South Florida anthropologists are planning to take another look at the grounds of the infamous Dozier School for Boys. The move comes after a search for “anomalies” on the property turned up mostly tree roots.

Search To Continue For Bodies At Reform School

Aug 26, 2019
BEN MONTGOMERY

Forensic experts are gearing up to conduct a high-tech sweep of the grounds at a notorious Northwest Florida reform school where survivors remain convinced bodies of long-lost boys are still concealed.

University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle said Monday her team intends to return next month to the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna to conduct light imaging detection and ranging tests, known as LIDAR.

Ben Montgomery

The Dozier School for Boys dates back to the turn of the century in Florida and its history is a dark one.

The reformatory school taught thousands of young boys in the small city of Mariana in the Panhandle for over 100 years. During that time, there were hundreds of documented cases of physical assault, torture and even death. But the school remained open. 

Researchers say they’re committed to continuing exploration of the grounds surrounding the now-shuttered Dozier School for Boys even after finding mostly tree roots in a recent investigation into 27 “anomalies” experts thought could be unmarked graves.

Florida Senate Apologizes For Abuses At The Dozier School For Boys

Apr 27, 2017
MICHAEL SPOONEYBARGER REUTERS/LANDOV

With one senator pointing Wednesday to "violations of fundamental human decency," the Florida Legislature has formally apologized for the mistreatment of juveniles held at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

The Senate on Wednesday joined the House and unanimously approved a resolution (SR 1440) acknowledging the physical and sexual abuse of boys who were sent to the now-closed reform school, and a related facility in Okeechobee, from 1900 to 2011.

Remains Of Dozier Victims Could Go To Tallahassee

Aug 22, 2016

The remains of dozens of boys who were victims of beatings and abuse at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys should be reinterred in Tallahassee, the city where lawmakers and governors were responsible for the now-closed reform school, a state task force decided Friday.

University Of South Florida To Begin Digging For Bodies At Dozier

Aug 26, 2013
Michael Spooneybarger / Reuters/Landov

Excavation of long-buried human remains from unmarked graves at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna will begin Saturday.

The weekend work outside the Boot Hill section of the closed Panhandle reform school is expected to be the first in a number of digs to occur over the next year, University of South Florida spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez said Monday in an email.

Governor, Cabinet Approve Search For Bodies At Dozier

Aug 6, 2013
Bill Cotterell / Reuters/Landov

As expected, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday authorized a year-long dig for human remains at a closed Panhandle reform school, saying the state cannot ignore abuse that went on for decades.