Researchers To Continue Search For Dozier Boy's Remains, After Finding Empty Coffin

Oct 8, 2014

University of South Florida researchers say they’re going to continue searching for the remains of a boy believed to have died at the now-closed Dozier School for Boys, after an attempt to exhume his remains in another state proved unsuccessful.

About two weeks ago, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson said he had every confidence researchers would exhume the remains of Thomas Curry. Nelson spoke during a press conference last month, after lead researcher Erin Kimmerle announced the remains of two other boys had finally been identified decades later.

“One of the next mysteries to be told perchance will come later this Fall, as she [Kimmerle] has  now gotten the government of Pennsylvania for an exhumation order for a 15-year-old of the early part of the last century who was buried at his hometown in Pennsylvania,” said Nelson at the time.

Curry was supposedly buried at a Catholic cemetery in Philadelphia, after dying near the Dozier grounds. But, when researchers dug up the decades-old grave Tuesday, they found an empty coffin.

According to a Tampa Bay Times report, no one can say whether officials at the reform school shipped a box filled with wood to a grieving family in Philadelphia, or whether someone removed Curry's body when it arrived and held a funeral for a box with no body inside.

According to his death certificate, Curry died in 1925. His skull was crushed after running way from the Marianna reform school—surrounded with a history of alleged abuse.

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