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Coroner in Kendrick Johnson Case Slams Initial Police Investigation

In the case of Kendrick Johnson, the teen who was found dead in a rolled up mat in his high school gym, it seems like one thing after the other just doesn’t add up. Police still claim that he died of asphyxiation after getting caught up in the mat while trying to retrieve a lost shoe, but the family and private investigators say that all evidence points to foul play and that there is clearly a cover up.

Now, in a report obtained by CNN, Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson seems to have written his honest feelings on the way police handled the initial investigation at the scene.

“I was not notified of (sic) this death until 15:45 hours,” wrote Watson in the report from January 22nd. “The investigative climate was very poor to worse when I arrived on the scene. The body had been noticeably (sic) moved. The scene had been compromised and there was no cooperation from law enforcement at the scene. Furthermore the integrity of the evidence bag was compromised on January 13, 2013 by opening the sealed bag and exhibiting the dead body to his father.”

CNN apparently obtained the coroner’s report through an open records request at the coroner’s office.

“I do not approve of the manner this case was handled,” Watson continues. “Not only was the scene compromised, the body was moved. The integrity (sic) was breached by opening a sealed body bag, information necessary for my lawful investigation was withheld.”

Johnson’s family is still maintaining that the 17-year-old was murdered and that there is an elaborate cover up going on, and with new evidence and testimony surfacing every day, their claims seem very valid.

The U.S. attorney’s office just launched their own investigation into the case, and after CNN tried to reach out to the Lowndes County Coroner’s office for comment on the report, they declined due to the new investigation.

"In light of the US attorney's review of this matter, the Lowndes County sheriff and the Lowndes County coroner will not comment further on this case,” said Lowndes County lawyer Jim Elliott. “They will fully cooperate and respond to all inquiries of the United States attorney.”


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