Valdosta Daily Times

Big Story AM

November 24, 2013

Rumors addressed in KJ case

Online posts bring denials from Johnson’s mother


VALDOSTA — Second Autopsy

Among other items, federal investigators will compare the official state autopsy with a second one performed five months after Johnson’s death by a private pathologist hired by the youth’s family.

Johnson’s body was exhumed June 14 and Dr. William R. Anderson, a forensic pathologist with Forensic Dimensions in Heathrow, Fla., conducted his autopsy the next day. His findings contradicted the state autopsy conducted four days after Johnson’s death.

Anderson’s report, dated Sept. 15, stated the body showed evidence of blunt force trauma to the right side of the neck, “findings not consistent with positional asphyxia.”  Anderson said Johnson appeared to be a victim of homicide and not an accidental death.

Anderson’s analysis of Johnson’s organs was conducted using microscopic slides of tissue sample created during the state autopsy.

In contradiction, a  CNN report has claimed that, during the second autopsy, it was discovered Kendrick’s organs were not present and that his body had been stuffed with newspapers.

The Harrington Funeral Home disputed the CNN report, and Harrington’s attorney, Roy Copeland, released a letter to The Times stating the funeral home had no involvement in “the disposition of this young man’s internal organs.”

Sherry Lang  of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the original autopsy, said Kendrick’s organs were put in plastic bags and placed inside the body cavity following the autopsy by GBI pathologist Dr. Gaffney-Kraft.

Anderson’s report stated the organs removed at the initial autopsy were not present with the body, but he did not indicate he opened the body cavity for inspection nor did he provide details of how the body was embalmed.

Repeated requests to the family’s lawyers to allow The Times access to the photos reportedly showing “sales flyers and newspapers” in Kendrick’s body cavity, as reported by CNN, have gone unanswered. The lawyers  have also not replied to the paper’s request to conduct an interview with pathologist Anderson.

Text Only
Big Story AM
  • Kendrick_Johnson.jpg Rumors addressed in KJ case

    Editor’s Note
    This is the final of four stories reviewing the investigative case file of Kendrick Johnson, the Lowndes High School student whose lifeless body was found Jan. 11 in a rolled wrestling mat in the school’s old gymnasium. Today’s report addresses rumors that stemmed from an online article about possible suspects in Johnson’s death, provides details on a second autopsy conducted at the Johnson family’s request, and tells what’s next in the disputed death case.

    November 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • Kendrick_Johnson.jpg Where was Kendrick?

    About this series
    This is the third of four stories by the Valdosta Daily Times reviewing the official police file on the investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson. Today’s report is about the confusion surrounding Kendrick’s whereabouts the day before his body was found, explains police handling of a report that a person was attacked and falsely accused of killing Kendrick, and tells about the dissatisfaction of Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson with how authorities handled the immediate investigation.

    November 23, 2013 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Billionaires, shadowy groups fuel pricey election

    Billionaires, anonymous donors and shadowy outside groups funneled enormous amounts of money into this year’s federal elections, as the cost of the presidential campaign surged past $2 billion and is expected to set a record.

    November 1, 2012

  • ELECTION-graphic.jpg Poll: Many say no illegal aliens in public colleges

    Two-thirds of Georgians want to bar illegal immigrants from attending the University of Georgia and other public colleges, even if they pay out-of-state tuition. Sixty-seven percent of people polled last week favor a law requiring proof of legal residency to attend a Georgia college or university.

    September 19, 2010 1 Photo

  • hurricane logo.jpg Hurricane gains strength

    Hurricane Igor is on the verge of becoming a monstrous Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, while another tropical storm - Julia - has formed.

    September 12, 2010 1 Photo

  • baby.jpg Health officials, mothers battle Lowndes’ high infant mortality rate

    Lowndes County has an unusually high infant mortality rate. Meet some of the people who trying to turn that around, including those involved with the Baby Luv program.

    September 11, 2010 1 Photo

  • wtc.jpg Anniversary of 9/11 attacks steeped in political, religious tensions

    This year, controversies over the location of a planned mosque near the "ground zero" site in New York City and threats by a pastor to burn a copy of Islam's holy book have left shadows over the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history.

    September 11, 2010 1 Photo

  • abuse logo.jpg Lanier tackles child abuse, neglect

    An open forum held recently in Lanier County dealt with child abuse and neglect issues in that county.

    September 6, 2010 1 Photo

  • ELECTION-graphic.jpg Roy Barnes: New health reform law’s unhealthy for Georgia

    Roy Barnes says the new federal health reform law backed by fellow Democrats could be “financially devastating” for Georgia unless officials in Washington figure out a way to help states cope with a staggering jump in Medicaid costs.

    September 5, 2010 1 Photo

  • 2hankaaronresizedbw.jpg Hank Aaron reunites with Valdosta man who followed him onto field

    Henry Aaron - "Hammerin' Hank" - recently got back together with two men who, as teens, ran the bases with him on the day he broke Babe Ruth's career home run record — and one of those two lives in Valdosta.

    September 5, 2010 2 Photos

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results