Kendrick arrived at his Lowndes High School with other students, ready to mark the day with knowledge, flirting, and fun…
But at some point during the third and fourth block, Kendrick somehow disappeared.
Apparently no one noticed that Kendrick was missing for the rest of the day.
Lowndes High School, in Valdosta, Georgia
Because no one noticed Kendrick’s absence until his father became worried that his child hadn’t returned home.
Kendrick’s father, Kenneth Johnson reported him missing to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department that evening.
On Friday morning, Jan. 11, janitors at Lowndes High School found Kendrick…
He was upside down in the mat and is believed to have passed out due to the blood flow to his head for an extended period of time, which could ultimately lead to a stroke or heart failure, the report says.
Kendrick ‘KJ’ Johnson
Officers say that during the investigation, they learned that Kendrick Johnson went into the gymnasium and appears to have climbed on top of the mats which were standing upright. At some point Kendrick Johnson either reached into the center of one of the rolled mats or fell into the center opening of the mat and became lodged. Investigators found no signs of a struggle having taken place. Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office have and will continue to interview students and friends who may be able to provide information.
This is where the family of Kendrick says that things take a turn.
Kenneth Johnson, a local television news station that he believes his son was murdered.
“I want to express how did my son go missing during school hours in broad daylight? We know our son was murdered while he was at Lowndes High School. We do know that,” Johnson told WALB.
In Johnson’s case, the medical examiner’s office is also running toxicology tests, which can take weeks to complete, before determining the exact cause of death. The sheriff said he does not expect to see a full report on the cause of death for at least a month.
Student athlete, KJ Johnson.
Anastasia Roe, the teen’s aunt, said her nephew was a good student who ran track and played football. She said he was the life of the party, but reserved when he met new people.
She said information that the family received from the school and the sheriff’s office about how the teen was found was inconsistent, and that lead to some in the community to ask questions.
“First we heard he was on the floor near the mat, then we hear he was wrapped in the mat,” she said. “It’s suspicious.”
Authorities began their investigation as Lowndes High students texted and posted on Facebook regarding the death. For a period, no one could enter or leave Lowndes High. Numerous parents arrived to pick up their children. Classes continued throughout Friday and parents were eventually allowed inside to pick up their children.
Sheriff’s and GBI investigators initially worked the scene as a suspected homicide. The sheriff’s office and Lowndes County School System issued a statement of suspecting no foul play by Friday night.
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine asks that anyone with information about this, or any other incident contact the Sheriff’s Office, (229) 671-2950; or on line at http://www.lowndessheriff.com. Anonymous tips can be left at (229) 671-2985.
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