A U.S. Attorney in Georgia is reviewing the case of Kendrick Johnson, a high-school student found dead in a school sgym a year ago in a rolled-up gym mat. NPR says state investigators ruled out foul play, but Johnson’s parents and activists from across the U.S. don’t believe it. For 11 months, his family has gathered on the street outside the county judicial complex in Valdosta, Ga.
Johnson, 17, was found with his head facing down inside the mat, his feet sticking out of the top. He disappeared one afternoon and students discovered his body the next morning. “It’s mind-boggling that a child could go to a school and he should disappear during school hours while over 3,000 students were present, and nobody has come forward to say, ‘This is what happened,’ ” says Chevene King, one of the family’s attorneys. An autopsy said Johnson’s death was accidental and the cause was “positional asphyxia.” That means he suffocated because of how he was wedged inside the mat. His parents paid for the body to be exhumed for another autopsy. A private pathologist determined the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the neck and that it was not accidental.