Sec. of State Ken Detzner looking again at Dozier issue

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Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s office is reviewing a request from University of South Florida researchers to reconsider his decision to deny a permit to exhume bodies from four gravesites at the closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna.

“The department received the letter yesterday and is reviewing the letter for response,” Detzner’s spokesman Mark Ard said in an email Tuesday. Detzner on July 15 denied a permit sought by the USF researchers to dig for reportedly unaccounted-for bodies of boys who died at the former reform school between 1900 and 1952. Detzner claimed his department’s Bureau of Archaeological Research is “restricted to the recovery of objects of historical or archaeological value,” but “not human remains.”

USF researchers Erin Kimmerle and Christian Wells wrote Detzner on Monday that the purpose of their research is “not to get ideas for a journal article, but to return lost human remains to their families.”