Kendrick Johnson: Video Released in Death of Teen Found in Gym Mat

Image: Kendrick Johnson: Video Released in Death of Teen Found in Gym Mat Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, whose son Kendrick was found dead in a wrestling mat.

Friday, 01 Nov 2013 10:47 AM

By Morgan Chilson

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A surveillance video released by the school where Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a gym mat may hold clues to his death, and the teen's parents hope it will help lead to answers.

Johnson, 17, was found dead inside a wrestling mat at a Valdosta, Ga., high school in January, and his death has been considered a tragic accident, ABC said. It was believed he was reaching into the mat to get a shoe, became stuck and suffocated.

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The surveillance video ordered released by a judge showed a quick snippet of Johnson walking down a school hallway.

“It feels great we are just one step close and finding out what happened to my son,” Jacquelyn Johnson, the teen’s mother, told ABC News.

Johnson’s parents received permission to exhume their son’s body and hired a private medical examiner to do a report. That doctor released a four-page report that showed Johnson died from an injury on the side of his neck that he called “non-accidental.”

CNN reported that a Georgia U.S. Attorney said federal authorities will be looking at what happened in the Johnson case and how the boy died.

Johnson’s family believes the teenager was murdered and someone has covered it up, CNN said. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said reviewing the evidence in the case indicated it warranted a follow-up review.

"I will follow the facts wherever they lead. My objective is to discover the truth," he told CNN.

In an interview this week, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said the federal government’s involvement is important.

“With that type of resources directed at this investigation, there will be more answers to be found,” she told Wolf Blitzer.

CNN said the sheriff’s office announced within 24 hours of finding Johnson’s body that there was “no reason to suspect foul play in the death.” But the news organization put evidence in front of a former FBI agent who reviewed photos and other information and questioned how the case was handled.

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Related stories:

Kendrick Johnson Case: Teen’s Exhumed Body Stuffed with Newspaper

Teen Graffiti Artist Tasered for Running From Police Dies in Miami

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