This case just took an even more awful turn.
A Georgia couple’s quest to learn what happened to their son, who was found dead in a rolled up wrestling mat in his high school gym, took a horrifying turn when a second autopsy found the teen’s body was stuffed with newspaper.
Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson — parents of 17-year-old son, Kendrick, whose death has been ruled an accident — won a court order to have the teen’s body exhumed in June, CNN reported late Wednesday.
But a private pathologist, Dr. Bill Anderson, found the teen’s brain, heart, lungs and other organs were missing — and replaced with balls of crumpled newspaper.
“We have been let down again,” Kenneth Johnson told the news station. “When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick — not half of Kendrick.”
A spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told CNN that after the agency conducted the initial autopsy that “the organs were placed in Johnson’s body, the body was closed, then the body was released to the funeral home.”
The funeral home did not comment, but its owner, Antonio Harrington, wrote a letter to the family’s attorney claiming the organs weren’t in the teen when the remains were received.
He wrote that the organs “were destroyed through natural process” because of the manner in which the teen died and “discarded by the prosecutor before the body was sent back to Valdosta.”
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has launched an investigation to determine what happened to the teen’s organs and why his body was stuffed with newspaper.
The independent autopsy found that the teen died from “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.” That challenges the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s ruling that the teen died from positional asphyxia.
Although the Lowndes County Sheriff’s office considers the case closed and the U.S. Justice Department decided against opening a civil rights investigation, federal prosecutors in Georgia are considering their own probe into the incident.
The teen’s mother said she was disgusted to find her son’s body was stuffed with old newspapers “like he was a garbage can” and vowed to find the truth as to why her son died.
“It’s unbearable, just about,” she said. “The only thing that wakes you up in the morning is to just keep pushing.”
SMH… What really happened to Kendrick Johnson? We have a feeling the full truth may never be discovered but what do you think happened.