The case of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, whose death was ruled accidental by authorities, took a twist Thursday after a second autopsy revealed the teen's body was stuffed with newspaper and most organs were missing.
Johnson was found dead in January, rolled up in a gym mat at his Georgia high school. His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, couldn’t believe the finding of accidental death and hired an independent firm to exhume Kendrick Johnson’s body and do another autopsy.
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The fact that their son’s body from the torso to the skull was stuffed with newspaper escalated their horror at the situation.
“We have been let down again,” Kenneth Johnson told CNN.
“When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick.”
The independent autopsy not only found that organs were missing and newspaper was used, but also determined that Johnson was killed by blunt force trauma to the side of his neck, CNN said.
“To find his organs are missing is just insult on top of injury,” the family’s co-counsel Benjamin Crump told NBC News
. “They’re outraged. They’ve been outraged for the last nine months.”
Thursday, the Johnson family said they will take legal action against officials who might have tried to cover up their son’s murder, NBC said.
CNN tracked the process used to autopsy Kendrick Johnson, and talked to experts who said that replacing organs with newspaper is not a normal practice. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Harrington Funeral Home handled Kendrick Johnson’s body after his death, CNN said. GBI has said the organs were in the body when they released it to the funeral home.
The funeral home did not make a statement to CNN, but a letter written to Johnsons’ attorneys said the organs were not with the body when they received it.
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