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Nelson seeks federal probe of Dozier

University of South Florida researchers exhumed remains from unmarked graves at the Dozier School for Boys.
University of South Florida researchers exhumed remains from unmarked graves at the Dozier School for Boys.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has asked the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation into the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in the Jackson County town of Marianna.

Nelson's request, in a letter Tuesday, cited a report by University of South Florida researchers who have found 51 bodies buried at the former state reform school. He said that contrasted with an earlier state investigation that concluded 31 bodies were on the site.

University researchers began exhumations after questions arose about whether boys suffered abuse and died at the school, with bodies buried in unmarked graves.

"Given new information about wards of the shuttered reform school, and a long history of mistreatment allegations surrounding the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida, I believe the department is uniquely positioned to provide an outside and independent review," Nelson wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder.