CNN has obtained graphic photos from the scene where a 17-year-old boy was found suffocated inside a rolled up wrestling mat at his high school gym in January.
Kendrick Johnson’s parents and supporters are pushing the feds to investigate the boy’s death as murder. However, both the state and Lowndes County investigators have determined there was no foul play involved in Johnson’s death.
The NY Daily News reports Johnson was found on Jan. 11 stuffed inside an upright mat behind some bleachers at Valdosta High School in south Georgia.
Officials believe Johnson climbed on top of the mat and reached down inside the mat to retrieve a shoe (pictured above) when he fell in head first and became wedged upside down in the mat.
In that position it would have been nearly impossible for the 5-foot-10 student to free himself from the mat.
A coroner who performed a second autopsy on the teen — at his parents’ request — determined Johnson suffered a blunt force injury to his head — most likely when he fell inside the mat and struck his head on the gym floor.
Blood naturally flows downward with gravity. So if Johnson was stuck upside down for a prolonged period of time, the blood would pool in his head. This would explain the graphic photo of Jonson’s distorted facial features that surfaced online.
To the trained eye, Johnson’s distorted features are consistent with blood pooling in the head from his body being in an inverted position for over 24 hours.