The parents of a Georgia teen found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at his high school five years ago will exhume his body for a second time to try and prove that his death was not accidental.
Kendrick Johnson’s parents confirmed they will have another autopsy done on their son’s corpse. This will be the third time the family had an autopsy conducted.
Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Jackie and Kenneth Johnson will have the corpse dug up at 5pm on Friday.
‘Lord to have to disturb his resting peace breaks my heart into so many pieces but it has to be done,’ Jackie Johnson wrote on her Facebook page.
‘The worst part is to have to bury him a third time like another whole funeral and he’s leaving us again.’
Kendrick’s body was discovered in a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes High School, where he was a sophomore, on January 11, 2013.
State and local investigators ruled the teen’s death an accident, saying he suffocated after getting stuck inside the mat while reaching for a pair of sneakers. Jackie and Kenneth believe their son was murdered.
The first autopsy was completed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations shortly after the 17-year-old’s death and concluded that Kendrick died from ‘accidental positional asphyxia’, meaning his body was in a position that prohibited him from breathing.
The Johnson family had the body exhumed before and paid for their own autopsy, which listed the teen’s cause of death as blunt force trauma, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Federal investigators said the autopsy conducted by the GBI was more credible.
Despite the unusual nature of Kendrick’s death, officials still believe it was an accident.