Nearly 10 months after their son died, the parents of Kendrick Johnson are finally getting what they've been asking for: another investigation into the teen's mysterious death in the gym of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia.
Michael Moore, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said Thursday that federal authorities will investigate the circumstances behind the death of Johnson, whose bloody body was found inside a rolled-up gym mat on January 11.
Johnson's family suspects the 17-year-old was murdered and that someone has tried to cover up evidence in the case.
While warning his jurisdiction is limited as a federal prosecutor, Moore said that after lengthy review of evidence collected by authorities and the family's own investigator that "sufficient basis exists" to warrant a formal review of the facts.
Major developments in the case are expected over the next several days. The attorney for the sheriff’s office is working to transfer the hours—almost thousands worth, of surveillance footage from in and around to both the family and to CNN as a result of a lawsuit, CNN’s Victor Blackwell reports.
The coroner has said he will make an announcement in the next day or so about his decision to make an inquest. “That inquest could change the official cause of death from accident to homicide, which could then open a local investigation into what happened to Kendrick Johnson.”
The death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was awful enough for his parents. Then came the doubts about investigators' conclusion that it was an accident.
But the discovery that their son's body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial added a horrific new dimension to their anguish and further fueled their skepticism of the official findings.
"We have been let down again," his father, Kenneth Johnson, told CNN. "When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick."
Kendrick 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.
CNN's Sunny Hostin joined "New Day" Friday to speak about the case. "I'll tell you something isn't right here, it doesn't make sense," she said.
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