Second autopsy set for Kendrick Johnson's body

Published: Jun. 6, 2013 at 9:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2013 at 8:40 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Lowndes County judge grants the Kendrick Johnson family permission to exhume their son's body for a second autopsy.

The 17-year-old was found dead inside a rolled up gym mat at Lowndes High School in January.

The Sheriff's Office and medical examiner ruled his death an accident. Investigators say he suffocated after he fell inside the mat trying to retrieve an article of clothing.

Johnson's family believes he was murdered and plan to send the body to a Florida pathologist. Their lawyer says an initial report from paramedics noted bruising to Johnson's jaw. That information was not on the GBI's final autopsy report, and the family wants a second look.

"That was nothing that was indicated in the autopsy report; so either the pathologist at the crime lab missed it, or perhaps has some other explanation for it," said attorney Chevene King.

Johnson's body will be removed from Sunset Hills Cemetery in Valdosta and will be taken to Florida in the next two weeks.

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