The death of a teenage boy from Valdosta, Georgia who was found rolled up in a wrestling mat at his gym, was initially ruled an accident. Investigators said that he crawled into an upright wrestling mat to retrieve his shoe, but got caught and died of asphyxiation. The boy’s family, however, believed different, and after a second autopsy, all signs now point to foul play.
Kendrick Johnson was just 17 years old when he died, and from the start, many questioned the circumstances surrounding his death, noting that the chances of someone getting caught in a wrestling mat accidentally are highly unlikely. With massive amounts of blood found around Johnson, as well as blood stains on the wall that investigators discovered were not his, the signs pointed to foul play from the start.
In regards to the blood stains found on the wall, investigators initially said that they appeared to have been there for some time and did not seem to be fresh. Harold Corpus, an Atlanta private investigator, told CNN that this does not makes sense, as it’s highly likely that old bloodstains wouldn’t have been left on the wall for an extended period of time.
"There is no way that they would allow whoever was supposed to clean this gym to leave that blood on that wall," said Corpus.
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"I don't believe this was an accident,” he said. “I think this young man met with foul play.”
Kendrick’s father Kenneth Johnson has also been skeptical from the beginning, maintaining that all the signs point to homicide.
"They know something happened in that gym,” he said, “and they don't want it to come out.”
Now, with the second autopsy revealing that the death was probably not an accident, there is further investigation into this mysterious case.