USF Asks for State Permits to Exhume Bodies

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The University of South Florida is asking permission from state authorities to exhume human remains on the site of a now-defunct Panhandle reform school.

USF made the request one week after a circuit judge rejected a request filed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

The judge ruled not enough evidence existed to justify an order. But he also said state officials had authority to proceed with exhumations on state land. But he cautioned USF and others that it would not protect them if families protested their actions.

USF wants to exhume bodies from "Boot Hill Cemetery" and surrounding areas, where it is believed there may be unmarked graves and unaccounted bodies of boys who died. The school, formally known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, was closed in 2011.

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