TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Researchers can now exhume the bodies at the Dozier School for Boys.
Tuesday, the Florida Cabinet voted to grant the exhumation permit. "Dozier has a history and we are not proud of it," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Last month, Action News told you how the state repeatedly denied USF researchers in their efforts to dig up the grounds at the Dozier School for Boys where there are stories of abuse and torture.
USF has been fighting to bring these bodies up from the graves at the now defunct school.
The state denials were a big concern for the Commissioner of Agriculture before the vote.
"I don't why the Department of State was unable to find the appropriate rationale two times when they applied and were denied," said Adam Putnam.
Former students of the school cheered.
It's the answer Roger Kiser has been waiting years to hear. The bodies beneath the crosses can finally be exhumed. The secrets he says are buried there can finally be exposed.
"I was really almost brought to tears. I've been working over 22 years for this.
The Brunswick man went to the school for boys in the 1960s. He wrote a book about the abuse he and others endured in what they called the "White House."
Researchers from USF discovered the state has no record of the bodies.
That's why they've pushed to exhume the bodies.
USF Dr. Erin Kimerle says she has always wanted one thing, to bring closure to the families.
"This is hopefully that missing piece to fill in that," Kimerle says.
But we had just one question for the attorney general. Why did it take so long?
"It's sad, isn't it. It's very sad it took this long," said Bondi. "We can't answer why it took so long but it's being dealt with now."
The permit is for one year. The exhumations will start later this month.
Researchers will also be looking to see if there are more gravesites on the property.