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Researchers investigating 51 bodies exhumed from old graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School in Marianna, Fla., released a new report this week. The reform school had a ‘rape dungeon’ where boys were abused and at least one of the boys was shot to death, investigators said. The report also identifies two more people buried in the graves — an employee and an 18-year-old boy — in addition to three who were identified previously. The rest of the bodies remain nameless.
As the bodies exhumed from dozens of old graves at a shuttered Florida reform school continue to yield grudging answers to stubborn mysteries, researchers investigating the cases this week released a report on what they know so far.
There was the 6-year-old boy who ended up dead after being sent to work as a house boy. And another boy who escaped but was later found shot to death with a blanket pulled over his body and a shotgun across his legs. Then there was the "rape dungeon" where boys were taken and abused.
What the researchers have learned about decades of horrific acts carried out at the now closed Arthur G. Dozier School in Marianna is outlined in a report released by the University of South Florida as researchers continue grappling with the mystery of the graves and deaths there.
University anthropologists have found the remains of 51 people buried at the school during a dig that also uncovered garbage, syringes, drug bottles and a dog encased in an old water cooler buried in the cemetery.
They are not only trying to identify who was buried there, but the stories behind how they and others died at the school.
Beyond studying remains, researchers are looking through the school and state records, newspaper archives and interviewing boys' families, former inmates and former school employees to provide a history of the dead............................
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Researchers have positively identified the remains of a 15-year-old boy who died at the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.
The remains of Robert Stephens were identified with the help of a DNA sample from his nephew, who shares the same name.
Stephens met with researchers in 2013 to give a sample because he thought he may be related to one of the boys who entered the shuttered reform school in the 1930s.
According to his death certificate, Robert Stephens was stabbed to death by a fellow student.
Since learning about the positive identification, Stephens has learned he was named after his uncle.
"I'm learning more about my family by the hour," said Stephens, who is married with three children. "Finding out who you are, where you come from, and the history of your family. That's what most people want to know."
It's one of the many stories to surface from Dozier, where teachers were accused of brutal beatings, sexual assaults, and even murders.
Researchers say there are plenty more bodies to identify, but they are zeroing in on three specifically. George Grissam, James or Joseph Hammond, and Robert Nelson are the three names they want the public to know...................
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