On the evening of January 10, 2013, 17 year-old Kendrick Johnson, a sophomore at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, GA, was reported missing by his mother. Kendrick never returned home after leaving for school earlier that morning. Kendrick’s body was discovered inside a large, rolled-up wrestling mat inside the school’s gym the following day. Since the shocking discovery of their son’s death, the Johnson family has been yearning for answers and justice.
Lowndes County investigators’ official story was that Kendrick died of positional asphyxia. They said their investigation concluded that Kendrick had climbed on top of the six-foot-tall rolled-up gym mat while trying to obtain a shoe. While on top of the mat, he accidentally slipped head first into the opening, got stuck, and eventually died of asphyxiation.
When Kendrick’s body was found and removed from the mat, there was a pool of blood on the floor below his head. The county officials said the blood spilled after his heart stopped pumping and after he died. Kendrick’s parents say the blood and other evidence shows that Kendrick was murdered.