More than two dozen possible graves were discovered at the site a notorious Florida reform school for boys — years after researchers found an estimated 50 unmarked graves on school grounds.
A company contracted by Geosyntec Consultants, Inc. was doing work on the property of the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida, when it found 27 "anomalies" that could possibly be grave sites.
The graves were found 165 yards outside the school's cemetery by a ground-penetrating radar which was being used to survey the area, according to a March 26 report Geosyntec sent to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
"Multiple lines of evidence indicate that there are unmarked graves outside of the known cemetery on the school's campus, but their exact locations have not been determined," the report states.
Geosyntec was contracted in 2017 by the state's Department of Environmental Protection office to clean up the area as part of the agency's Petroleum Restoration Program. Geosyntec hired a subcontractor to survey the land given the "history of the site," the letter stated.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote a letter asking for representatives from the state to assist Jackson County officials in investigating the findings and said he wanted to “ensure this issue is handled with the utmost sensitivity and care."
The governor's office told NBC News on Friday that the investigation is still ongoing and there is "no confirmation or clarity as to what these anomalies are at this time."
The school, one of the largest reform institutions in the country, shuttered in June 2011 after the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division confirmed students had been abused. It opened in 1900.
The property was returned to Jackson County in 2018, the county commission office said in a statement. Since acquiring the site, the county has been trying to rebuild it in hopes of it becoming a "beacon of industry and commerce."
In 2013, University of South Florida anthropologists and archaeologists were granted permission to excavate roughly 50 or more unmarked graves at the school following reports of abuse and mysterious deaths involving students.
Several men who attended the school as young boys alleged that they were savagely battered with leather straps by administrators and staff. Others told of how some students were beaten to death.