Valdosta Daily Times

January 13, 2013

Probe into death continues

Autopsy planned for Monday

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — An autopsy is scheduled Monday for a 17-year-old Lowndes High School student discovered dead Friday on the school’s campus.

Meanwhile, authorities continue piecing together the circumstances surrounding the death.

Kendrick Johnson, 17, has been identified as the deceased student in a Saturday release from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, though social networking brought the student’s name to public attention within a short time after Johnson’s body was discovered in the high school’s old gymnasium. Authorities officially withheld Johnson’s name from the public Friday night pending definitive confirmation of the identity.

Early Friday morning, a body was discovered in Lowndes High School’s old gymnasium. The discovery came after classes started, and the school did not dismiss students.

Lowndes County sheriff’s deputies and emergency-medical technicians arrived at the scene. As students texted and made Facebook posts from inside of the school, parents also began arriving at Lowndes High.

Initially, law-enforcement and school officials refused entrance or exit onto the LHS campus. Classes continued while the number of parents waiting to drive onto campus increased. By early afternoon, parents were allowed on campus to check their children out of school.

Sheriff’s investigators, assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation into the death as a suspected homicide. By nightfall, Sheriff Prine said investigators did not suspect foul play in the death. Authorities would not elaborate on why they do not suspect foul play.

The investigation continues.