A boy missing since 1940 has been ID’d whose body was found at the former Florida Industrial School for Boys that is located in Marianna. Now the institution is known as Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, but was closes in 2011 due to budget.
The missing boy is identified as George Owen Smith. According to The Inquisitr, Smith was enrolled in the infamous school back in 1940 for car theft. His sister, Ovell Krell, never gave up trying to search for what happened to her brother. A lot of mysteries remain about him and several other boys that attended the school known for its harsh brutality.
In 1900 the school was for boys who committed more serious crimes like murder, rape, and theft. Later on it also included less severe crimes.
A forensic anthropologist from the University of South Florida, Erin Kimmerle, headed a team of other scientists to recover remains buried around the school that had brittle grave crosses. Some were also buried under roads and trees.
Anthropologists with the university learned that the deaths of those juveniles often came from physical abuse, drowning, disease, or being burned in fires.
The boy missing since 1940 that was ID'd ran away from the reform school once. When he was caught, he wrote a letter to his family saying he "got what was coming to me." They never heard from George again. The school told his parents that he got pneumonia and died. His sister was suspicious of that story because he feared the dark and if he was running away, he'd try to get home.
When he ran from the school a second time a student who was with Owen said rifles were being shot at him by three men. Krell says if he was killed from the gunshots, that would have been a blessing because he would have faced the unbearable if he was captured alive.
Krell tells the Washington Post that it's unclear how her brother died and medical examiners may never know. He was in the shallowest of all the graves. He was laying on his side with his hands covering his head.
Although the missing boy from 1940 has been ID'd, a lot of questions surround the death of George Owen Smith, as it does for dozens of other boys from the abusive, deadly school.