CNN is reporting that suspicions surrounding the death of Georgia high school student Kendrick Johnson have not been put to rest. Johnson’s death was initially ruled an accident by investigators which was later confirmed by an autopsy.
Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January. State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker. A march for justice was held in May by Johnson’s family, friends, and other activists, who believe Johnson was murdered.
Johnson’s parents fought the accidental death ruling winning the right to have the body exhumed and examined by an independent coroner. A second autopsy found that Johnson’s organs had been replaced by newspaper, which is unusual. During autopsies, standard procedure is that organs are removed, examined, measured, data is collected and then returned to the body for burial.
At this time, Johnson’s organs have not been found building on the suspicions that Johnson’s death was not accidental, but may have been a homicide that was potentially covered up by school and local officials. Johnson’s organs have still not been recovered.
CNN‘s Victor Bradwell and Devon Sayers report:
“…But when Dr. Bill Anderson, the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy, opened up the teen’s remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.
‘I’m not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body,’ Anderson said. ‘But I know when we got the body, the organs were not there.’
Two entities had custody of Kendrick Johnson’s body after his death — the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the first autopsy in January; and the Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, which handled the teen’s embalming and burial.”
In addition to the missing organs, Dr. Anderson also found that Johnson “had sustained a blow to the right side of his neck that was ‘consistent with inflicted injury.’ Challenging the state autopsy’s finding of positional asphyxiation, he concluded the teen died as the result of ‘unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.'”
Read more at CNN.