One of those "White House boys" called the department's report a "whitewash."
"All they did was try to do their best to discredit us," Straley said. "They focused on that instead of focusing on an investigation."
The department has said it stands by the integrity of its report.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman said officials could not comment on the research team's findings until they have had time to review the report.
Owen Smith was among the 31 students identified as having been buried in the cemetery.
"He had no ambition to do anything but play music," said his sister, Ovell Smith Krell, who was 12 when her brother ran away from home in 1940. She said he was headed for Nashville to become a musician, but never made it. He was arrested in a stolen car, and sent to the reform school.
He ran away from the school, but got caught, he told his sister in a letter a short time afterward.
A few months later, his family got a letter from the school, notifying them that Owen had run away for a second time.
"So far, we have been unable to get any information concerning his whereabouts," wrote Millard Davidson, the school's superintendent at the time.
"We will appreciate your notifying us immediately if you receive any word from or concerning him," Davidson wrote.
Owen's family decided to travel to Marianna, Florida, to find out what was going on, but just before leaving, there was a call from the school with word that Owen had been found dead.
"They think he crawled under a house to try and get warm and that he got pneumonia and died," said Krell, now 83.
She said her mother asked that Owen's body be taken to a funeral home. The family had to borrow a car for the trip and when they arrived in Marianna two days later, school officials allegedly told them that their son was already buried.
"They said that the body was so decomposed, you wouldn't be able to identify him ... they took him straight out to the school and buried him," she said.
Owen's classmate told the family a different story.
According to his sister, the boy said as he and Owen tried to escape, "my brother was running out across a field, an open field, and there was three men shooting at him, with rifles."
"I believe to this day that they shot my brother that night, and I think they probably killed him and brought him back to the school and buried him," she said.
With the completion of the anthropological search, it will be up to the families of the missing students to go to a state court to ask a judge to order exhumations. One family has already filed suit for the return of a relative's remains.
Krell said she only hopes to give her brother a proper burial.
"I would take him and put him down with my mom and dad in their cemetery," she said. "I hope I get that chance."