Deep within soil on the Former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys may lie the answers to more than 50 missing bodies, deaths recorded between 1911 and 1973.
While a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation concluded in 2009 that there was no wrong doing, a university research team is taking a second look.
"We look for historical documentation and records. We look at witness interviews and what people say who have first-hand knowledge of the graves and cemetery," says Dr. Erin Kimmerle, an assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida.
A team from the University of South Florida is conducting research at the historic Boot Hill Cemetery. In a letter to the Florida Department of Environment protection, USF researchers say while 31 metal crosses mark the site, school records suggest only 21 bodies are buried there, and the location of more than 50 others are unknown.
"What's sort of unknown is whether those crosses really correspond to actual graves and what the really perimeter of the cemetery is," says Dr. Kimmerle.
This archaeological research will consist of remote sensing and ground penetrating radar to determine the number, location, and identity of graves.
Questions, White House Boys, like Bryant Middleton, who say they endured physical beatings more than 50 years ago, are hoping to find the answers to.
"When it is all said and done, I'm really hoping that all children will be sent home to their families and their family members. They will be identified. They will simply not be thrown in a whole with out a marking identifying who they are," says Middleton.
The FDLE declined to comment. The Former Dozier School for Boys closed just more than a year ago.