Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF anthropologists renew effort to get okay to dig at Dozier

The University of South Florida will appeal a ruling by the state that denied anthropologists and archaeologists a permit to exhume human remains on the campus of Florida's oldest reform school.

The USF researchers met with Florida Attorney General's Office representatives and both agreed to appeal the ruling from Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

"We believe Secretary Detzner has misunderstood his office's authority and jurisdiction under Florida law in this matter, specifically in USF researchers' discovery of what appears to be unidentified human remains at the Dozier site and the danger of those remains being destroyed," USF said in a statement. "The discovery of human remains requires state action under Florida Statutes section 872.05."

The researchers have been trying to learn how many boys are buried in a clandestine cemetery on the reform school campus, and how they died. Using ground penetrating radar, they identified nearly 50 subsurface anomalies that appear to be grave shafts. They've also found human skeletal material.

The state approved spending $190,000 to let USF continue to map the cemetery and identify the remains.

Detzner denied the University's application for an exhumation permit Monday, saying the Department of State didn't have the statutory authority to allow the exhumations. But USF will argue that state law mandates it.

"The University of South Florida remains committed to its research at the former Dozier School for Boys," USF's statement said. "The university also remains committed to fulfilling this project on behalf of the families of untold numbers of children who were buried at Dozier in unmarked graves and these families' fundamental right to have their relatives' remains identified and buried in a proper and respectful manner."

USF anthropologists renew effort to get okay to dig at Dozier 07/16/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 12, 2014 11:34am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday


    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102