The mysterious death of a Georgia teen has taken a bizarre twist with the revelation that an autopsy of his exhumed remains found his internal organs missing and his body stuffed with newspaper.
The family of Kendrick Johnson, 17, of Valdosta, Ga., was “outraged” and “devastated” by the discovery and believes his death was a murder that is being covered up, a lawyer representing them said Thursday.
Johnson, a three-sport athlete, was found dead on Jan. 11 in a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym. State medical examiners concluded that he accidentally suffocated while trying to retrieve a sneaker.
But his parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, were doubtful about that conclusion.
“It didn’t make any sense,” Kenneth Johnson told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall on Thursday.
“We know how Kendrick is,” Jacquelyn Johnson added. “We know he would have never crawled up in no mat.”
In June, they won a court order to have Kendrick’s body exhumed for a second autopsy.
What the private pathologist who performed the second autopsy found was shocking. The results came back in September.
“There were no organs in there,” Benjamin Crump, co-counsel for Kendrick’s family, said. “He [also] concluded that it was a homicide, and that he died from blunt force trauma.”
The autopsy showed Kendrick suffered hemorrhaging on the right side of his neck.