The parents of Kendrick Johnson plan to exhume his body for the second time to prove that the 17-year-old was murdered when his body was found in a rolled-up gym mat five years ago.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is confirming that Johnson’s family has asked for and received permission to dig up his corpse on Friday to perform another autopsy.
“Lord to have to disturb his resting peace breaks my heart into so many pieces but it has to be done,” Kendrick’s mother, 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.”
Johnson’s body was found in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia in January 2013 after investigators say that the teen became trapped inside of an upright gym mat while searching for his sneakers. A medical coroner concluded that he fell at an angle that caused positional asphyxia.
Although US attorneys agreed that there was no evidence to support that he had died otherwise, Johnson’s parents are convinced that he was murdered by brothers Brian and Branden Bell, sons of a local FBI agent. His parents allege that there was a conspiracy to cover-up the Bells’ connection to Johnson’s death.
After Johnson’s first burial, his family hired attorneys and a private pathologist to exhume the body. They concluded that Johnson experienced “non-accidental” hemorrhaging as well as a fatal blow among other things.
In March 2018, the Johnsons were ordered to pay the $292,000 worth of legal fees of the people they accused of killing their son after they failed to respond to appropriately to the dismissal of their appeal.
“I don’t care where I go nor what I do I can not stop thinking about my baby #kendrickjohnson,” Jackie Johnson wrote on Facebook at the time. “This is so messed up on so many levels. The pain our family has to go through and none of the murders thugs are locked up! IT’S NOT OK ALL OUR KIDS ARE DEAD WITH NO JUSTICE.”