THE KENDRICK JOHNSON MURDERListen Now
On January 10, 2013, Kendrick Johnson's parents reported their 17 year-old son missing. The next day at Kendrick's school, Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia, in the gym students saw what they thought was a pair of socks sticking out of a gym mat, but when they approached they told investigators they realized it was a body. According to Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine, Kendrick Johnson died while reaching into an upright gym mat in the old gym on Jan. 10 trying to retrieve a sneaker that had fallen inside, instead Kendrick fell in, couldn't get out and smothered to death from positional asphyxiation.
The original autopsy report ruled Johnson's death an accident, stating that the teen suffocated after getting stuck in a gym mat while reaching for a sneaker. However, Johnson's parents weren't convinced it was an accident, and they got a court order to have their son's body exhumed. The second autopsy report showed the teen's death was not an accident, stating that Johnson had sustained "non-accidental, blunt force trauma."
During an autopsy, internal organs are removed and examined before being returned for burial. But when the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy on Johnson opened up the teen's remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone and had been replaced with newspaper.
Federal prosecutor Micheal Moore is reopening the case. THE KENDRICK JOHNSON MURDER-Fred Rosen and Beau Webster