By: Eames Yates
The Lowndes County coroner says the investigation into the death of a high school student was not handled properly.
Kendrick Johnson's parents have held protests since last week.
They're saying their son's death was not handled correctly by the sheriff's office. The Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson agrees.
"I just think the whole thing was handled wrong," Bill Watson, Lowndes County Coroner, said.
17-year old Kendrick Johnson's body was found inside a rolled up wrestling mat in the Lowndes High School Gym on January eleventh. Since then, the Sheriff's Office has said no foul play is suspected in his death. But the Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson doesn't agree.
"We should have never been told that there was no foul play," Watson said.
The Sheriff's Office responded by saying: "the investigation regarding the death of Kendrick Johnson that began in January 2013 was managed just like the past investigations that the Sheriff's Office has conducted."
Although Kendrick's body was first discovered around 9 a.m., Watson says he wasn't notified by the Sheriff's Office until around 3 p.m.
"Well it compromises my investigation one hundred percent," Watson said. "I don't know what the county did when they got there on the scene. The body had been moved. The scene, in my opinion, had been compromised."
The Sheriff's Office continued to address the Watson's statements by saying: "Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson was notified and responded to the scene in the same manner as previous investigations."
Although nothing can bring back Kendrick, his parents have welcomed the coroner's words.
"That should let everyone know that something really is wrong with this picture," Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick's Father, said. "We want answers and we want justice."
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said that the official autopsy and toxicology report will be done within the next two weeks.
Press Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Prine has released the following statement;
The investigation regarding the death of Kendrick Johnson that began in January 2013 was managed just like the past investigations that the Sheriff’s Office has conducted. Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson was notified and responded to the scene in the same manner as previous investigations.