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Kendrick Johnson's Family Turn To Students For Help In Georgia Teen's Death

Chris Shaw's twitter account
Fox 5

The family of a South Georgia teen are now turning to students for answers in Kendrick Johnson’s death. Johnson was found dead in a gym mat about two years ago at his Valdosta high school.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Chevene King—the lawyer for Johnson’s family—said new information could mean there were witnesses to what led up to Johnson’s death—25 to be exact. And, he appealed to the parents of those potential witnesses.

“You are the parents of 25 either current or former Lowndes high school students who rode on a bus that transported Lowndes County high school wrestling team to a tournament in Macon, Georgia, January 10, 2013,” said King.

That’s the day Kendrick died. A day later, he was found by Lowndes high students. Johnson’s parents believe he was killed. But, sheriff’s investigators ruled his death a freak accident, after they say he got stuck upside down inside the mat. King says authorities can’t know for sure if not everyone was questioned.

Credit Justice for Kendrick Johnson's facebook page
Justice for Kendrick Johnson's facebook page
Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead last year by his classmates in a rolled up gym mat in South Georgia.

“We found out that school officials excused your children from classes, starting at 11:32 that same morning,” said King. “That means those same kids were on the campus when most of us thought that they were not. And, it’s the reason that everybody including the police failed to ask crucial questions of them because they assumed that they were not there.”

He added, “We’re asking you to talk to your children to ask them the questions that the police did not to find out what they know and please share everything that you can with the U.S. Attorney’s office or our attorneys.”

A federal investigation into Johnson’s death revealed no findings. Meanwhile, Johnson’s family has lawsuits pending against Lowndes High school and the district school board.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.