Kendrick Johnson’s Parents Suing Funeral Home In Mat Death

Source: Stephanie Slifer / CBS News

The parents of Kendrick Johnson, a Georgia teen found dead in Jan. 2012 inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym, have filed a lawsuit against the funeral home that handled their son’s remains, alleging the  home intentionally disposed of their son’s organs in an effort to interfere with the investigation into his death. 

Authorities initially called Johnson’s death a freak accident, saying he fell head-first into an upright gym mat and became trapped. The case was closed, but Johnson’s family insisted he was killed.

When a judge agreed to exhume Johnson’s body last summer, a private pathologist not only determined he died of blunt force trauma to the neck, but also that his organs were missing and his body had been stuffed with newspaper.

The lawsuit filed by his parents in Lowndes County and obtained by CBS News’ Crimesider Wednesday, alleges Antonio Harrington, the owner of Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, “intentionally, willfully and secretly desecrated” the remains of Johnson with the intention of making it difficult to establish the “true cause and manner of death.”

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