The Florida Department of State (DOS) and the University of South Florida (USF) today issued a joint statement announcing that the USF research team led by Dr. Erin Kimmerle concluded the first phase of its investigation of the 27 anomalies near the Dozier School for Boys and found no evidence of human remains.
The first phase of the investigation of the anomalies revealed mostly evidence of tree roots from a previously removed pine tree forest. The second phase of the investigation will proceed with a final analysis of the entire property using Lidar technology to determine if there are other areas requiring further investigation.
“I am grateful that Dr. Kimmerle and her team were able to quickly determine that no human remains are present at the site near the Dozier School for Boys where the 27 anomalies were identified,” said Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. “The Department is committed to seeing the entirety of the investigation through.”
During the investigation of the 27 anomalies, Dr. Kimmerle and her team used many of the same methods and processes as they did during the prior investigation at Boot Hill Cemetery, including the removal of top soil through mechanical stripping, hand excavation of potential anomalies and some additional ground penetrating radar.
“While the recently reported anomalies were found using remote sensing technology above the ground, we were able to look below the surface and clearly determine no graves or human remains are present,” said Dr. Kimmerle. “Studying this area of the property was an important step for us to be able to answer the questions that had been raised.”
The Department will host a public meeting with stakeholders so that Dr. Kimmerle can provide more detailed information about the investigation of the anomalies and her findings. The date, time and location of the public meeting will be announced in the coming days.
DOS will communicate important updates or discoveries as appropriate throughout the remaining investigation.