Kendrick Johnson’s bizarre death remains a mystery. However, an anonymous e-mail may provide some important clues. Officials said the e-mail names a specific suspect, who reportedly confessed to killing the teen. The message identified four teens, who were Johnson’s former classmates.
Authorities said they interviewed two of the students named in the e-mail. Both admitted knowing Johnson. However, they denied any involvement in his death. It is unclear whether the named suspect was included in the interviews.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Bradfield Shealy has subpoenaed internet records, which may identify who sent the e-mail. Shealy said he issued a subpoena to Mediacom Communications Corporation, via fax, in late January. However, the provider said they never received the document.
Although local authorities closed the case in May 2013, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Stryde Jones said “if evidence comes forward, specifically testimony,” they intend to follow up and “act accordingly.”
As reported by CNN, the subpoena is part of a federal investigation, which was initiated in October, 2013.
Kendrick Johnson was last seen alive on January 10, 2013. Video Surveillance places him in the Lowndes High School gymnasium at approximately 1:09 pm. The following morning, his body was discovered inside a rolled-up wrestling mat.
Following an investigation, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office determined Johnson’s death was accidental. They believe Johnson fell head-first into the mat, as he was attempting to retrieve his shoe. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted an autopsy, which confirmed the theory. The cause of his death was determined to be accidental asphyxia.
Johnson’s family and friends were skeptical. Global Grind reports that the opening in the wrestling mat was approximately 14 inches wide. Kendrick Johnson’s shoulders spanned 19 inches. When authorities responded to the scene, the 17-year-old’s body was completely enclosed inside the mat.
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were firm in their initial findings. However, Johnson’s family noted numerous inconsistencies.They eventually made the difficult decision to have Kendrick’s body exhumed.
An independent autopsy, conducted by Dr. William R. Anderson, confirmed the family’s suspicions. Anderson concluded that the teen’s cause of death was blunt force trauma. Kendrick Johnson’s family believes he was intentionally killed and rolled into the wrestling mat to conceal the crime.
The anonymous e-mail may provide even more clues about the mysterious incident. As the Federal Grand Jury continues to hear evidence, Kendrick Johnson’s family is praying for closure.
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