crimesider

Kendrick Johnson's parents meet with US atty in "gym-mat" case

Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson stand next to a banner on their SUV showing their late son, Kendrick Johnson, on Dec. 13, 2013, in Valdosta, Ga. AP Photo/Russ Bynum

The parents of Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gymnasium last January, met with the U.S. attorney investigating their son's death Friday.

Chevene King, one of the attorneys representing the Johnson family, told CBS News' Crimesider the meeting gave the Johnsons an opportunity to be updated on the progress that's being made in the investigation.

King said it was "a good meeting" but said the U.S. attorney did not detail what the investigation has or has not turned up given the fact that grand jury proceedings are confidential.

"We were given a general idea of how things were proceeding and we are certainly looking forward to getting some further updates in the next 30 to 60 days," King told Crimesider.

The 17-year-old Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, where he was a student, on January 11, 2013. Authorities initially called his death a freak accident, saying he fell head-first into an upright mat and became trapped. An autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) concurred.

The case was closed, but Johnson's family insists there was more to the story and had their son's body exhumed for a second autopsy last summer. It was then that a private pathologist determined the teen died of blunt force trauma to the neck and that his organs were missing and his body had been stuffed with newspaper.

In October, Michael Moore, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced he was reopening the case and in February, Johnson's parents filed a lawsuit against the funeral home that handled their son's remains, alleging the home intentionally disposed of their son's organs in an effort to interfere with the investigation into his death.

King has previously alleged that key players in the city of Valdosta are conspiring to conceal the truth of what happened to Johnson. But, he told Crimesider Friday that he is confident the truth will come to light.

Alluding to the case of a long-ago disappeared teamster's boss, King said, "This isn't Jimmy Hoffa, this is Valdosta, Georgia."

  • Stephanie Slifer On Twitter»

    Stephanie Slifer covers crime and justice for CBSNews.com.

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