The results of a third autopsy done on Kendrick “K.J.” Johnson suggest the Georgia teen’s mysterious death wasn’t an accident, confirming his parents’ suspicions.
The report, obtained by local station WALB, attributed Johnson’s death to non-accidental blunt force trauma to his right neck and right thorax.
The results are an addendum to the second autopsy report, conducted in June 2013, which also concluded the teen’s death was the result of “unexplained … apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma,” The latest autopsies, both done by a private forensic consultant out of Orlando, Fla., directly contradict Johnson’s initial autopsy, which listed the high school student’s cause of death as positional asphyxia.
Johnson’s body was found stuffed inside a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., in January 2013. Although a state autopsy determined the 17-year-old’s death was accidental, Johnson’s parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, insisted their child was murdered and called for an investigation into his tragic demise.
Suspecting foul play, the grieving parents filed a $100 million wrongful death suit in 2015 and named their son’s former schoolmates Brian Bell, Branden Bell and their father, FBI Special Agent Rick Bellas defendants. The family was dealt a major blow, however, when the U.S. Justice Department ruled in 2016 that there was insufficient evidence to prove foul play in their son’s death.
Moreover, a judge dismissed their wrongful death suit in June 2017, citing the parents’ “negligence” in the case.