Middle Georgia U.S.District Attorney Will Probe Death of Valdosta Teen

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Updated: Thu, 31 Oct 2013 11:34:39 EST

Federal investigators will look into the suspicious death of a Valdosta teen Kendrick Johnson whose body was found rolled up in an up[right high school gym mat January.

Middle Georgia's U.S District Attorney,  Michael Moore said in a news briefing that federal prosecutors and the FBI are now involved in the case, which the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office  had closed, citing Johnson’s death from potential asphyxia. They say Johnson accidentally lodged himself in an upright wrestling mat which reaching for a shoe. Thursday, Moore announced he will review the facts surrounding the January 11 teen’s death.

“At this time I am of the opinion that a sufficient basis exists for my office to conduct a formal review of the cats and investigation surrounding the death of Kendrick Johnson," Moore said. "I will follow the facts wherever, they lead,” he said. “My objective is to discover the truth."

Johnson’s family suspect the 17-year-old was murdered.  Five months after Johnson died, the family exhumed his body and a private pathologist performed a second autopsy which reached a different conclusion on Johnson’s death.

Not only is Moore’s office looking into a possible crime but possibly another allegation.

"Should sufficient information be developed to warrant a criminal civil rights investigation, I will ask the FBI to open a civil right or any other appropriate investigation," Moore said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Moore’s office asks anyone with information and facts regarding Johnson’s death to call his office at 478-521-2701.

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