Tapes seized in case of teen who died mysteriously and had his internal organs replaced with newspaper


The FBI was expected Thursday to seize the original hard drives from the surveillance system at Lowndes High School, where 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat earlier this year, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation surrounding the hard drives.

U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Michael Moore issued a grand jury subpoena to seize the hard drives, the source said.

Kendrick Johnson’s family waited months for hundreds of hours of surveillance video, hoping it would yield answers about their son’s January death, but they were disappointed to learn that the four cameras inside the Valdosta, Georgia, gymnasium showed only a few collective seconds of Johnson, jogging. The camera fixed on the gym mats was blurry.

The Johnsons’ attorneys were not shy in stating their suspicion that someone could have tampered with the videos.

Attorney Chevene King has questioned why time codes weren’t shown in the videos.

But the discovery that their son’s body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial added a horrific new dimension to their anguish and further fueled their skepticism of the official findings.

During an autopsy, internal organs are removed and examined before being returned for burial. But when Dr. Bill Anderson, the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy, opened up the teen’s remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.

“I’m not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body,” Anderson said. “But I know when we got the body, the organs were not there.”

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