Kendrick Johnson’s family hosts grief support group nearing the 10-year ‘angelversary’ of his death
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The family of Kendrick Johnson is remembering him to start January 2023 in a series of public events, leading up to the 10-year commemoration of his death.
On Jan. 11, 2013, Johnson’s body was discovered in a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes High School.
Kendrick Johnson’s death made national news, not on the day his body was discovered, but in weeks, even years that followed. Investigators ruled his death an accident, but his family and many across the country believe he was murdered.
Over the past 10 years, the Johnson family has filed several lawsuits and led many public protests. His body has been exhumed twice, and there have been three autopsies. The last two concluded Kendrick’s death was caused by blunt-force trauma.
In 2021, Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk reopened the case. He says he reviewed all the evidence personally, and in 2022, his office closed the case ruling there was no sign of foul play.
But the 10-year commemoration isn’t about lawsuits or legal issues. Johnson’s sister, Kenyetta, is hosting a sibling grief support group and they’ll be watching a documentary about her brother’s death.
“First, we’re going to watch the movie then basically going to be asking the siblings and whoever else is in the crowd like questions and see like how life has been since their siblings has passed and how it’s going for them and things like that. Just basically trying to be a support for other siblings like me,” Kenyetta Johnson said.
Kendrick’s god-sister, April Mays, encourages others to be there for people if they do lose a sibling.
“I never lost a sibling before so I think it’s gone teach me and other people how we can be here for our friends because we don’t understand — whatever they need if they need somebody to talk to, check on them. ‘How you are doing? You okay?’ you know, just be there,” Mays said.
On Wednesday, Jan. 11th, at 5:30 p.m., WALB News 10 will devote a half-hour to the Kendrick Johnson case, why the family still believes he was murdered and why the Sheriff is convinced he wasn’t.
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