Did someone confess to the murder of Kendrick Johnson? I hope investigators are one step closer to determining what happened to Johnson. The 17-year-old high school student from Valdosta, Georgia was found in a rolled-up mat in the Lowndes High School gymnasium on January 11, 2013.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office ruled his death accidental, concluding that Johnson climbed into the center of the gym mat to reach for a shoe and got stuck.
State medical examiners said Johnson suffocated but offered no explanation for how Johnson ended up smothered and bloody in a wrestling mat. Fifteen months later, Johnson’s parents are still waiting for answers, still waiting for justice – and still waiting for closure. It’s not fair and it’s absurd that Johnson’s family has to wait this long to get the answers they deserve.
They believe Kendrick was murdered and perhaps this new development will reveal the truth. According to CNN, a Georgia assistant district attorney has ordered a communications company to hand over Internet records after investigators received an anonymous e-mail claiming an ex-schoolmate reportedly confessed to killing Kendrick Johnson. The anonymous e-mail tip, according to CNN, is dated January 27.
“The sender of the e-mail does not suggest he or she personally witnessed a confession; instead, the sender claims to have been told information by somebody who purportedly was aware of a confession in the 2013 death by one of the people implicated in the e-mail,” CNN reported.
So far, there are no details, no witnesses, and no clues to how Johnson died. A 15-minute video and nearly 700 photos taken by sheriff’s investigators in Lowndes County that were obtained by CNN, tell a different story of how Johnson died.
“I don’t believe this was an accident. I think this young man met with foul play,” Harold Copus, a former FBI agent who is now an Atlanta private investigator, told CNN last year.
CNN reported that a pair of orange-and-black gym shoes found a few yards from Johnson’s body had a substance that looked like blood on them, but investigators told CNN the stains weren’t blood — and so the shoes were not collected as potential evidence.
Could there be a cover-up? Last week, students from Lowndes High School and Valdosta High School were among those who appeared before a federal grand jury as part of the Department of Justice’s investigation into Johnson’s death. Meanwhile, Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick’s father, said the preliminary investigation was shady.
“They know something happened in that gym, and they don’t want it to come out,” Johnson has told reporters. “Someone murdered him. They should be in jail.”
If there was a confession, perhaps someone will finally stand trial in Kendrick Johnson’s death.
For Johnson’s parents, who are still grieving the loss of their son, let’s hope justice comes sooner than later.