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USF Researchers Identify Two More Sets Of Dozier Remains

Katy Hennig
USF News
Lead USF researcher Erin Kimmerle at one of the sites on the Dozier School for Boys property.

University of South Florida researchers have identified the remains of two more people buried on the Dozier School for Boys property in Marianna.

According to USF researchers’ latest status report, they’ve made 2 more IDs—bringing the total to five.

That includes the remains of Sam Morgan—a boy who entered the school at age 18. The investigation into his death is ongoing because while he was buried at Dozier, the school’s records did not list him as deceased.

The other is Bennett Evans, a school employee who died in a dorm fire. Because no DNA was obtained from burned bone samples, his ID is based on other factors, like the age he was when he died.

Over the past few months, researchers identified the remains of three others—two who died after records show they ran away. In the fall of last year, one family gained closure, after waiting more than seven decades to find out what happened to their loved one.

Other families that gained closure include those of the first black student identified and another who helped get influential state officials involved to spark renewed interest in what occurred at the North Florida reform school surrounded by a history of alleged abuse.

So far, the research team has found 51 individuals buried in 55 graves. Researchers and law enforcement are still in the process of searching for more family members.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.