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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the now closed Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys.

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Nelson’s request, in a letter Tuesday, cited a report by University of South Florida researchers who have found 51 bodies buried at the former school property.

He said that contrasted with an earlier state investigation that concluded 31 bodies were on the site.

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University researchers began exhumations after questions arose about whether boys suffered abuse and died at the school, with their bodies buried in unmarked graves.

“Given new information about wards of the shuttered reform school, and a long history of mistreatment allegations surrounding the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida, I believe the department is uniquely positioned to provide an outside and independent review,” Nelson wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder.

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(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)