Following a catastrophic storm, a new investigation begins at Florida's Dozier School for Boys

(CNN)A catastrophic storm may help bring justice to the families of victims of a notorious Florida reform school.

On Monday, Dr. Erin Kimmerle, a University of South Florida forensic anthropologist, began an investigation of 27 "anomalies" discovered by an engineering firm hired by the state's Department of Environmental Protection to help clean-up following Hurricane Michael, according to Florida's Department of State.
Though the 27 anomalies discovered by radar are "consistent with possible graves," according to Governor Ron DeSantis, only fieldwork will determine whether human remains are present at the site.
"We understand there are a lot of people who care deeply about our findings," Kimmerle said in a statement from her university.
Among those who care deeply is Reverend Russell Meyer, a former member of the Dozier state commission and now a Dozier stakeholder.
"What's there? Nobody knows what's there," Meyer told CNN. "There is a lot of legend and a lot of local stories of various kinds of activities that have gone on in this area, and we just want the evidence. Tell the truth and have a clear history."
Dale Landry, a former member of the Dozier task force representing the NAACP and now a stakeholder, told CNN: "For many of us, this came out of nowhere. We were totally shocked. We don't know what we're going to find. Everybody is sitting on pins and needles waiting."


The 27 "anomalies" are located less than 200 yards from a section on the Dozier school property known as Boot Hill Cemetery, where, previously, USF researchers found 55 graves.
The first priority for Kimmerle, who led the original 2012 excavation at Dozier, is determining whether or not the anomalies are human burials. Yet, she and her USF colleagues are also tasked with analyzing as much of the nearly 1,400 acre property as possible to identify any additional areas of interest warranting further investigation.
This field work will involve the use of similar methods and processes, according to a government statement. The USF researchers will remove topsoil from the ground for analysis and then test and excavate by hand. If needed, the researchers will also provide forensic analysis and DNA testing.
Depending on what's found, the researchers may use light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR) to determine if there are any additional "areas of concern" on the site, according to a university statement. "Our objective is to answer as many questions as possible, as we have done throughout the course of our research at the site," said Kimmerle.
The investigation could take from 6 months to one year, according to Florida's department of state, which plans to communicate updates or discoveries as they develop.


Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys (earlier known as the Florida State Reform School and Florida Industrial School) opened on January 1, 1900, on 1400 acres of land. Originally, the school was intended as a refuge for troubled children, including those found guilty of theft and murder, accordin