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Kendrick Johnson's Family Holds Vigil in Valdosta

By: Greg Gullberg, Eames Yates,Eyewitness News Email
By: Greg Gullberg, Eames Yates,Eyewitness News Email
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By: Eames Yates
April 18, 2013

Valdosta, Ga. -- The family of 17-year old Kendrick Johnson is holding a vigil for the son they lost.

His family is saying their son's death wasn't handled properly by the Sheriff's Office.

The Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson spoke with us yesterday. He said he wasn't notified about Kendricks death until roughly six hours after his body was discovered by fellow Lowndes High School students in the school gym on January eleventh.

The Sheriff's Office responded by saying: "Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson was notified and responded to the scene in the same manner as previous investigations."

Kendrick's family has started a petition that has been gaining traction.

"We have 10,000 signatures already, we're asking for ten thousand more," Tesha Tooley, Kendrick's Aunt, said. "We're asking for the signatures because we want the coroner to do his own investigation. We have questions that we're not satisfied with the answers."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said that the official autopsy and toxicology report for Kendrick will be done within the next two weeks.


By Greg Gullberg
April 15, 2013

Valdosta, GA - Protesters have been out everyday in downtown Valdosta demanding answers in the death of a Lowndes High School student.

Monday's protest marked the second straight week they've been rallying for an official cause of death for 17 year old Kendrick Johnson. Johnson's body was found inside a wrestling mat in the Lowndes gymnasium in January.

A preliminary autopsy report said there were no signs of foul play.
But an official autopsy and toxicology test have yet to be released. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says that the official autopsy report and toxicology tests will be done within the next two to three weeks.


By: Eames Yates
April 9, 2013

Valdosta, GA - "It's just devastating to have him taken away from us" says Kendrick's grandmother of her grandson's death.

Family and friends of seventeen year old Kendrick Johnson were protesting in front of the Lowndes County Courthouse. They say they're not getting answers about the Lowndes High School student's death. Johnson was found on January eleventh in the high school gymnasium inside a rolled up wrestling mat.

Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick's father: "we haven't received copies of the autopsy at all. They still say it's an ongoing investigation. But if it's an accident, he fell in to the mat, what are you investigating?"

The preliminary autopsy report said there were no signs of foul play. The sheriff's office is having DNA tests conducted and have yet to officially close the case.

Lt Stryde Jones/Lowndes County Sheriff's Office: "We didn't see any indication that Kendrick Johnson had been stabbed, shot or otherwise assaulted by some means. You know we haven't closed this investigation because we're still waiting the final facts. And to close it out prematurely or make a premature decision would just be, you know, totally wrong."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation told us that toxicology reports as well as the official autopsy report will be done within the next two to three weeks.


Valdosta, GA - A rally is being held in Valdosta today for Kendrick L. Johnson, whose body was found rolled up in gym mats at Lowndes County High School in January of this year.

WCTV will bring you more on the rally tonight on Eyewitness News.


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