It’s been eight months since 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at his high school, and now an independent autopsy report is revealing his death wasn’t an accident.
Back in May, officials in Lowndes County, Ga. concluded that the death of Kendrick was an accident as a result of positional asphyxia. But the new report rules that he died as a result of “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.”
According to CNN:
[The autopsy] found blunt force trauma to the right neck and soft tissues, “consistent with inflicted injury.” It was conducted by Dr. William R. Anderson with Forensic Dimensions in Heathrow, Florida.
That finding supports the narrative of the initial patient care report, written by EMTs with the South Georgia Medical Center Mobile Healthcare Service on January 11, the day Johnson’s body was discovered. That report said, “bruising noted to the right side jaw.”
However, a January 25 report by the Valdosta – Lowndes County Regional Crime Laboratory cited “no signs of blunt force trauma on Johnson’s face or body.”
The newest autopsy was granted by a judge on May 1 after Kendrick’s family became suspicious about the inconsistencies surrounding his death and the manner in which he was found. His body was exhumed and the autopsy was completed on June 15.
Because of the new findings, U.S. Attorney Michael Moore is reviewing the case, but has not launched a formal investigation.
“We’ve been working on this for some time,” he said. “I’m sure at the appropriate time, I’ll speak with his pathologist.”
“There are some members of the community that question the result,” Moore continued. “I want to make sure members of the community and the family and everyone involved has confidence in my work and my decision.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kendrick’s family as they grapple with this horrible news.