Kendrick Johnson, 17, was a talented sportsman.
Kendrick Johnson, 17, was a talented sportsman.

Teen's body stuffed with newspaper before burial

THE parents of a US teenager are demanding answers after it was discovered the 17-year-old's body and skull had been stuffed with newspaper before burial.

CNN reports Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a gym at Lowndes County High School in January.

State medical examiners concluded that the three-sport athlete suffocated after getting stuck in a rolled-up gym mat while reaching for a sneaker.

His parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, never accepted that explanation.

They won a court order to have their son's body exhumed and a second autopsy performed in June.

That autopsy lead to the latest discovery.

"We have been let down again," Kenneth Johnson, told CNN.

"When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick."

The private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy found the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.

Two entities had custody of Kendrick Johnson's body after his death -- the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the first autopsy in January; and the Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, which handled the teen's embalming and burial.

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang told CNN that after the autopsy, "the organs were placed in Johnson's body, the body was closed, then the body was released to the funeral home."

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