Family of teen found in wrestling mat files complaint - - The News for South Mississippi

Family of teen found in wrestling mat files complaint against funeral home


The family of Kendrick Johnson, 17, said on Tuesday that common sense leads to no other conclusion than that their son was murdered.

The case of the teenager from Valdosta has captured national headlines as the mystery of how the Lowndes County High School student died continues to create more questions than answers.

"We don't know what happened, that is what we are trying to find out," Jacquelyn Johnson said. Johnson said she is asking Gov. Nathan Deal to appoint an independent coroner to determine a cause of death of her son.

On Jan. 11, Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up wrestling mat inside the gymnasium of the high school.

According to the complaint filed with the Secretary of State's Office, funeral home owner Antonio Harrington removed Johnson's organs and replaced them with newspaper.

"At best, (Harrington) misled us as to the condition of our son's body, and at worst, is responsible for the removal and destruction of his organs, and, thus desecration of our son's body," the complaint stated. "According to information from the GBI, all of our son's organs were placed back inside of his body once the initial autopsy was completed."

Kendrick Johnson's father Kenneth said his son's body was missing all of its internal organs, including his brain.

The complaint goes on to say "Mr. Harrington may have facilitated a cover-up as to the cause of our son's death to the extent that the missing organs may have deprived our pathologists the means by which to determine how he may have died."

The family plans a rally at the Capitol on Wednesday. They expect a large turnout and hope Deal will appoint an independent coroner to look into Johnson's cause of death.

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