Researchers finish grave excavations’ first phase

MARIANNA, Fla. (AP) — University of South Florida researchers are wrapping up the first phase of their grave excavations at a former reform school that had a history of extreme abuse.

Two skeletons have been exhumed and will be taken back to the Tampa university to be studied after digging ends Tuesday.

Researchers believe about 50 people were buried in the cemetery at the former Arthur G. Dozier school. They’ll return to the site in the fall to resume excavation.

The goal is to try to identify those buried in the graves and how they died. Ten families have contacted the school with hopes DNA will help identify relatives who died at the reform school.

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