Feds 'following the facts' in bizarre Kendrick Johnson gym mat death

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In a major new development it has been announced that the investigation into the death of Georgia teen Kendrick Johnson has been reopened.

Speaking to a room packed with journalists, Michael Moore, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said Thursday that federal authorities will investigate the circumstances behind the death of Johnson.

Johnson was found dead in a gym mat at Lowndes County High School in January 2013. Officials said it was a freak accident but his family has said all along it was murder.

“For several months now my office has been continuously engaged in obtaining and reviewing all the evidence, case reports, and other investigative findings that are available pertaining to the death of Kendrick Johnson,” said Moore.

“I am of the opinion that a sufficient basis exists for my office to conduct a formal review of the facts and investigation surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson.”

He added, “I do this with an open mind, neither accepting nor rejecting the opinions of anyone who was previously investigating the circumstances of his death.”

Moore, who said he was committed to “following the facts”, explained that he came to his conclusion “after personally reviewing the evidence” and additional information from attorneys for the family of Kendrick Johnson.

This latest development in the high-profile case will come as a relief for Johnson’s parents, who for 10 months have been trying to find out exactly how their son died, following the bizarre discovery of his body in a rolled-up wrestling mat.

The initial autopsy found that the teenager died from accidental asphyxia but the family have said from the very beginning it was murder. Their fears have been backed by a second independent autopsy that found evidence to conclude Johnson died of “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.”

Following Moore’s announcement, attorneys Chevene King and Benjamin Crump, appeared on the Tamron Hall’s News Nation show, alongside Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson.

Once again the couple reiterated their only goal was to establish the truth.

Crump said he believed the official explanation for Johnson’s death was absurd and implausible.

“It defies all logic, all the laws of physics and all common sense,” he said. “He was murdered and we’re trying to find out who murdered him and who is covering up for the individuals involved.”

Moore’s announcement comes a day after a Georgia judge ordered authorities to release all surveillance video and unredacted documents from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, which had previously been withheld.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Johnson’s internal organs were removed and parts of his body stuffed with newspapers. At the time Mr. King said he believed this might be part of a cover up to get rid of evidence.

Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti