Update: 3rd autopsy scheduled for Kendrick Johnson's body

Published: Jun. 20, 2018 at 8:12 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2018 at 6:46 PM EDT
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Kendrick Johnson's body being exhumed on June 14, 2013 (Source: WALB)
Kendrick Johnson's body being exhumed on June 14, 2013 (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - New developments continue to surface in a years-long investigation into the death of a former Lowndes County High School student.

Kendrick Johnson's body is set to be exhumed for a second time on Friday.

His mother made that announcement on social media Tuesday evening, writing that having to disturb his resting place breaks her heart, but "it has to be done."

Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber says the family of Kendrick Johnson has applied for him to exhumed and the city has signed off on it. They've applied for the permit to do so, with another affidavit left to sign. It's expected to take place Friday at 5 p.m. but the family could still change their mind.

This would be the third autopsy done on Johnson's body since he was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at the school in January of 2013.

The GBI conducted the first autopsy and determined Johnson's death was "accidental positional asphyxia."

His family later paid for a second autopsy that found the cause of death was "blunt force trauma."

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+Family of Kendrick Johnson appeal to not pay legal fees dismissed
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Over the past five years, the Johnson family sued many people claiming the school, city and county law enforcement, and the other officials worked together to 'cover up' Johnson's death.

Most recently, a judge denied their request to have two witnesses questioned while their attorneys claimed key evidence was lost.

KJ's father Kenneth Johnson spoke with us, telling why his family decided to go through the process, not once, but three times.

"If any parent loved their child, they'll wanna know how that child died, if something happened to their child they'll wanna know how their child died. If any parent on this earth would not wanna know how their child died, something is wrong with them," stated Johnson.

WALB asked Johnson after exhuming Kendrick once before, how does a parent handle the stress of a situation like this.

"It's very hard--it's very hard, you know to keep having to do this over, but like I said, our goal is to find out exactly how Kendrick died, we will not let no one sweep this under the rug as he died as an accident," explained Johnson.

WALB asked for those who are in the community who would say why wouldn't we just let him rest, what would your response be to something like that?

"It's not about letting my son rest... it's about the truth being told, what happened to our son, if they have a child and they wanna just let it go, that's on them," stated Johnson.

Johnson said the family will continue to exhaust every avenue until they receive answers despite the many road blocks they have encountered recently.

"We loved Kendrick--Kendrick was our child, and we want to know exactly what happened to our child and we want the ones who done this to our child to be held accountable--it's no letting him rest," concluded Johnson.

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