Torture at Florida Reform School

A team of anthropologists dig up children's bodies at Boot Hill Cemetery.
5:48 | 09/04/13

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Transcript for Torture at Florida Reform School
This -- -- ground penetrating radar unit we call -- Matilda. It basically. Sends a radar -- in the ground and gives us the picture or at least an impression of what's below the surface. When it comes to preserving the past technology can offer a glimpse into unearthing pieces of Florida history. But what we're doing right now is trying to bring the ground penetrating radar over to those markers to make sure -- included all of the area that could've been part of the cemetery. In an effort to document and designated historic cemetery at the Dozier school for boys and -- out of Florida. Forensic anthropologist and Kimberly is leading a team of researchers from the University of South Florida. Through meticulous steps. Figuring out where exactly below the surface the grades are located. The 100 an eleven year old school once called the Florida industrial school for boys. Has a storied past. The mystery that surrounds the treatment of the children incarcerated there may never be solved. The boys that died in state custody that were not returned to their families were buried here in an area on food -- School letters and state records indicate 84 boys died at the school between 1911 and 197 victory. Only 31 crosses -- in the cemetery. I think is. Like a like investigating how lazy media has not turned back breaks and that you don't have color even just half saint. Anything about the history in the context of this and -- -- not only are we degrade him from aren't but they're waiting to have her. Burial plot -- or any specific. Records about who is buried there and -- of Mary. Since receiving permission from the department of environmental protection in January -- research and designated historic site. The team -- made several trips north to study archive photos witness testimony. GPR analysis and site samples to get a better picture about what lies beneath. We've -- -- -- limits of the cemetery and we were able to find the western and eastern limits in the southern limits. The real problem became in the northern limit the cemetery that's going in this direction toward -- -- These oak tree is and and cedar trees were used as boundary markers for many of the features on the school. So the assumption was that these are boundary markers that perhaps some Turks that over to this Mallory. The cemetery was marked by some Boy Scouts and -- -- many years ago -- had a fairly good location of the final. Portion of the cemetery when it was used. But they are not exact. And maybe misplaced based on the historical records and research that the USF team has gathered so far. The fact that the -- have grown up all around it. Come on can parrot variety you know additional challenges the case but yet boundary -- actually can be -- I'm what is in recent memory. The teen from USF worked to clear the location of small trees and brush -- the ground penetrating radar to run smooth over the area surrounding the old oak tree. Stories over the years reference grave sites at the face of the giant tree. The collaborative effort includes anthropology. Archaeology and biology techniques. And may help shed some light on a story that has remained in darkness for decades. -- -- -- -- Every cement block an old can't is documented and -- Material for time. The -- carefully measures marks and greens out of fourteen by twenty metre perimeter to guy the GPR. We collect data in this particular case every fifteen centimeters. A working for grades out here so those are fairly large job that's coming into the finance -- for two senators seemed appropriate. In February the last time USF team without the site ground penetrating radar recognize several areas of interest for anomalies that anthropologists are working to clarify. There we really just it was over here -- -- -- -- kept going that direction. All areas in question are marked with flags. USF anthropologists also use a method known as ground -- thing. They did one half meter trenches vertically across the areas where -- -- density in the ground. Curtis has distributions of -- over layers of clay. USF student anthropologist carefully lift the earth in order to see what secrets the ground holds. Areas on the side of the trend toward the soil and -- mixed exhibit signs of previous -- This indicates a grave shaft. Another tool in marking the Thailand at the cemetery -- -- dating. Biologists from USF extract core samples of the cedar trees that surround the site. To determine when they were planted and where the perimeter of the cemetery might be. The team will continue to research the site. This summer Kimberly and the USS anthropology team will sift through the data collected and GPR software will clarify the anomalies. And the -- from the roots from these trees to Graham's two pieces of metal two pieces of concrete. To almost anything can be an anomaly and it's up to the Erie and the analysts. Once the -- collected can then identify and tease out from those -- what that really means. Once that's accomplished what it accepts and -- what is it that the family wants to happen when a minute but -- -- want to happen. -- how should baby my cash and -- commemorated the or very important crashing. Not thinking that we -- -- and there that I cancer and you. On -- and it's ultimately I think upstairs family room. The pieces of the historical puzzle are starting to put together. Four US -- news I'm Katie Handel.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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