Kendrick Johnson Death: Missing Organs Are Reason To Suspect Foul Play In Ga. Teen’s Gym Mat Death, Victim’s Parents Say

Source: CBS News

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The parents of a Georgia teenager whose body was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat at school said Thursday the fact that their son was recently found to be buried without his internal organs is a new reason to suspect signs of foul play were covered by investigators.

The body of Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found Jan. 11 in South Georgia. Lowndes County sheriff’s investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident, falling headfirst into an upright mat and becoming trapped. But Johnson’s family believes he was killed and has been pressuring authorities into taking a second look at the case.

The teenager’s family announced Thursday that the Florida lawyer who helped push for a criminal prosecution in the shooting of Trayvon Martin has joined efforts to reopen an investigation into Johnson’s death. His parents also revealed that when Johnson’s body was exhumed over the summer for a second autopsy, the private pathologist discovered his organs were missing and newspaper had been used to fill the body cavity.

“I feel outraged about them stuffing my son’s body with newspaper,” Jaquelyn Johnson said.

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  • KC

    While I can’t comment on the actual death as to whether it was an accident or foul play, I can comment on the newspaper having been found in the body cavity and the internal organs missing. My Dad was a Funeral Director for over 35 years and in those 35 years I’ve seen plenty of his work. One of the things that most people don’t know is that if you’re autopsied, most internal organs are taken by the ME and dissected and once the dissection is complete, they will either take the organs and place them in a hardening compound and send them along with the remains to the Funeral Home. In most cases though, they don’t and so when the funeral home receives the remains they need to re-open the body cavity and use something like sawdust, newspaper, cotton to absorb the bodily fluidmoisture of the inside body cavity. Using newspaper to do that or assist is normal. I’ve actually seen a combination of newspapersawdust used to do the job. Then once the cavity is filled the embalmer re-stitches the cavity and proceeds to embalm the rest of the body with injecting fluid. If the family wants to know what happened to the organs, they should ask the ME office for the record of autopsy, where they’ll have the full record of the entire procedure and chain of custody for the internal organs.

  • cb

    Do the parents know Kendrick had a altercation with the sheriff son before his death. He should have been the number 1 suspect.