New photos in Ga. teen Kendrick Johnson's death raise specter of foul play, report says

Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead inside a gym mat in January, 2013. New photos suggest his death may not have been accidental.
Kendrick Johnson, 17, was found dead in a gym mat in Georgia's Lowndes County High School in January, 2013.

(CBS) LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. - The body of  Georgia 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found in an athletic mat last January, a  death originally ruled an accident.

Now, new images suggest that it could have been something else, reports CNN.

Johnson's body was reportedly found wedged into a rolled up wrestling mat at Lowndes County High School on January 11, and medical examiners had determined that he suffocated while reaching for a sneaker.

The teen's family, who doubted the medical examiner's findings, commissioned a second autopsy that concluded he died from non-accidental blunt force trauma, according to CBS affiliate WCTV.

In a new video and photos taken by the sheriff's office and released by CNN, blood can reportedly be seen in several areas of the gym where Johnson was found. Blood streaks are also seen on a nearby wall but investigators reportedly said it wasn't Johnson's.

Harold Copus, an FBI agent turned private investigator, told CNN, "I don't believe this was an accident. I think this young man met with foul play."

CNN reports the Lowndes County Sheriff's office refused to discuss the case saying it was closed.

Federal prosecutors in Georgia are now reportedly reviewing the photos to determine if another investigation is necessary.

Johnson's father told CNN he believes his son was murdered.

  • Iris Carreras

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