TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A company doing pollution cleanup at a shuttered Florida reform school for boys known for its brutal conditions may have found 27 more of the nearly 100 unmarked graves that are believed to dot the property.
Using ground penetrating radar, Geosyntec found the 27 “anomalies” that could be unmarked graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a Wednesday letter, directed state agencies to work with local authorities to move forward and “ensure this issue is handled with the utmost sensitivity and care.”
A company doing work on the site about 500 feet from what is called the Boot Hill Cemetery at the school.
The company doing the work recommended treating the site like a graveyard until more testing can be done, the Times reported.
“This randomness might be expected in a clandestine or informal cemetery, where graves were excavated haphazardly and left unmarked,” the company said in its report.
The state said there were 31 burials at the school in 2009. University of South Florida researchers later found an additional 24 graves.
An estimated 100 boys died at the school between 1900 and 1973. It was permanently closed in 2011.
The school is on about 1,400 acres near Marianna, about 60 miles from Tallahassee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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