Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat
His family believes he was murdered; authorities say the death was accidental
The new video raises more questions than it answers
New surveillance video released Wednesday in the case of a Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat raises more questions than it answers.
There were 36 cameras inside and outside the gym of Lowndes High School in Valdosta, where the body of Kendrick Johnson was discovered. The video was released as a result of legal action, filed by his family, that CNN joined.
Johnson’s family suspects the 17-year-old was murdered and that someone has tried to cover up evidence in the case.
One clip shows Johnson in the gym. A second shows him walking in, then running out of the frame. In both videos, students suddenly appear.
An attorney for Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said the video was not altered or edited by anyone within the sheriff’s office. An attorney for the school likewise said that what was provided to the sheriff’s office was the raw feed, with no edits.
A third clip, which shows students playing in the gym and the mats where Johnson’s body was found, is blurry.
“There are so many questions yet unanswered. As we’ve said before, this is a real-life murder mystery and there just seems to be more and more adding to the mystery,” Benjamin Crump, a family attorney, told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“His parents have always said, all they want to know is the truth. And this video tape seems to tell us that the truth has not come out yet – almost as if something was done with this one video to help conceal the truth. But we’re going to keep pressing to get the truth to this murder mystery,” he added.
Last week, a prosecutor said federal authorities will investigate the circumstances behind the death of Johnson, whose body was found on January 11. The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office had declared the death accidental.
While warning his jurisdiction is limited as a federal prosecutor, Michael Moore, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said after lengthy review of evidence collected by authorities and the family’s own investigator “sufficient basis exists” to warrant a formal review of the facts.
Should evidence gathered in the investigation warrant criminal or civil rights charges, Moore said he would recommend them.
“I will follow the facts wherever they lead. My objective is to discover the truth,” he said.