Lord, have mercy…
The story of Kendrick Johnson might not be familiar to everyone so before we dive into the new developments, allow us to provide some context.
In January of 2013, Kendrick’s body was found upside down inside of a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes County High School. The story first came across the BOSSIP desk in 2016 when we reported that no federal criminal charges would be filed against anyone because there was “insufficient evidence that a person or group of people” murdered the then-17-year-old. If you’re like us, then you probably also find it impossible to believe that Kendrick somehow did this to himself. The medical examiner cited “positional asphyxia”, an accident, as the cause of death. Kendrick’s parents even filed a civil lawsuit where potential suspects were named but to no avail. The case was closed.
Fast forward to 2018 when the Johnson family hired another medical examiner to look at their son’s body and this practitioner found that Kendrick died not of “positional asphyxia”, but rather “non-accidental blunt force trauma between his neck and abdomen”.
Here is what we reported at that time as a result of these findings:
His parents believe that two sons of a local FBI agent; Brian, and Branden Bell murdered their son. The parents previously filed a whopping $100 million lawsuit against 38 people they believed were involved. A judge accused the Johnsons of fabricating evidence to support their claims and they were ordered to pay attorney’s fees to multiple defendants.
Here we are in 2021 and according to CNN, the case has been reopened by Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk. He was previously retired but came back to work in 2019 to request any and all information that was not made available during the initial federal investigation. That request was denied in July of 2019.
“If there’s questions — and they’re legitimate — I need to know the answers myself. The only way I’m going to know is to look at the evidence myself,” Paulk said.
“My plan is to see if there are any discrepancies between the reports,” said Paulk, who is leading the investigation.