TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The University of South Florida has sent a strongly worded letter to Secretary of State Ken Detzner, asking him to reconsider his decision not to allow the school to exhume bodies at a former state reform school in the Florida Panhandle.
The university's general counsel wrote in a letter sent Monday that USF does not want to dig up the bodies for research purposes -- that it wants to unearth the remains so they can be returned to their families.
USF researchers have verified the deaths of two adult staff members and 96 children between 1914 and 1973 at the Dozier School. At least 22 bodies remain unaccounted.
Last week, Detzner told USF his department doesn't have the authority to grant the exhumation request.