What happened to Kendrick Johnson? - KMSP-TV

What happened to Kendrick Johnson?

Posted: Updated:
VALDOSTA, Ga. -

A small town in south Georgia remains on edge 10 months after a student was found dead inside of a rolled-up gym mat at a high school.

The death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, whose body was found at Lowndes County High School in January, was initially ruled an accident. Johnson's family refuses to believe it.

Many people in Valdosta, Ga., told FOX 5 that they had strong feelings on the case, but were nervous to speak publicly.

The Johnson family is determined not to rest under they get answers. They spend nearly 40 hours a week on a street corner outside of a courthouse demanding justice.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office ruled the teen's death an accident; they say Kendrick Johnson fell into the mat in search of a shoe.

The family believes foul play was involved.

Gym surveillance video was finally released to the media in October. But out of 38 cameras, only one of them was blurry -- the camera that pointed in the direction of where Kendrick's body was found.

"That goes to show you if it's an accident, what are they hiding? It shouldn't be this way if this is an accident," said Kendrick's father, Kenneth Johnson.

With the official cause of death an accident, there have been no suspects. The Internet, however, is filled with accusations. Many rumors have the finger pointed at the sheriff's grandson or son. As it turns out, the sheriff has neither.

Amidst the unease, the rumors and the disputed evidence, generations of the Johnson family remain united.

"Our lives have just been just turned around, but we are here to stay until we get justice," Kenneth Johnson said.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's office told FOX 5 that they welcome the U.S. attorneys' review of the initial investigation. Johnson family lawyers are appealing a judge's decision to hold off on a coroner's inquest until after that review is complete.  They have asked that the schools hard drives from the surveillance cameras to be released to them.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Use of force 'not justified' in officer shooting of Bartow teen

    Use of force 'not justified' in officer shooting of Bartow teen

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-04-23 11:00:43 GMT
    A Bartow County Grand Jury has stated that the use of deadly force in the February shooting of a teen was 'not justified'. Christopher Roupe, 17, was fatally shot by Euharlee officer who claimed the teen answered the door with a gun.
    A Bartow County Grand Jury has stated that the use of deadly force in the February shooting of a teen was 'not justified'. Christopher Roupe, 17, was fatally shot by Euharlee officer who claimed the teen answered the door with a gun.
  • Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:43:26 GMT
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
  • Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:37 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:37:30 GMT
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices