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Kendrick JohnsonLOWNDES COUNTY, GA — An autopsy report reveals that the death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, the teen found dead inside a wrestling mat inside his high school’s gymnasium, was accidental.

Last Thursday, the family of Kendrick Johnson called police to report their son had not returned home from Lowndes High School and they were unable to locate him. The following morning, Johnson’s body was found in his high school’s gymnasium, stuffed upside down inside an upright, rolled up wrestling mat.

Initially, Johnson’s death was being treated as a homicide, but the autopsy report showed Johnson had not been in a struggle and had died inside the mat. What actually happened was far less sinister than murder, but just as horrific.

For unknown reasons, Johnson had climbed up on top of some rolled up wrestling mats and then fell inside the center of one. The teen went in head first and found himself stuck upside down and unable to move.

They don’t know for sure, but investigators believe Johnson was trying to retrieve a shoe. “We feel like he was trying to reach a shoe that was down that hole,” Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said, “but no one knows (why he reached into the mat) but him and the good Lord.”

Most people who die after getting themselves lodged upside down, die from suffocation. The rib cage is built so that the lungs can expand into the bodycavity, but when you are upside down, blood will pool in your lungs while your liver and intestines sit on top of them. Your heart will be working harder to get blood to the legs and feet while blood pools in your brain, increasing the chance of a stroke.

In other words, it is a terrifying way to die.

Officials added that additional testing will take place to find out Kendrick’s exact cause of death. Although foul play has been ruled out, Prine is asking that anyone with information on this case to contact the Lownde’s County Sheriff’s Office at 229-671-2950 or online at www.lowndessheriff.com. Anonymous tips can be left at {229} 671-2985.

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  • daMonBrooks

    I used to wrestle. Those mats do not breath, get sweaty really quickly, muffle sounds and are incredibly heavy. That poor boy, I’m sure he was screaming his lungs out, and was miserable every moment.

  • Buffettgirl

    This is just sad…

  • Gee

    What a cute young man… Very sad indeed

  • Abroad

    What an awful way to go…..

  • Heather_Habilatory

    Can you imagine the stench in the mat? Poor dude. Sorry, kid.

  • Sam

    How did the shoe get there? Silly high school shenanigans gone horribly wrong. RIP Kendrick.

  • come_and_see

    Another 1000 ways to die episode.

  • creamofflicka

    I was at a party in GA a few years ago,.. I ask if anyone want to “roll one up”. I got silent stares in return. I think this incident explains why.

  • daMonBrooks

    I feel like someone threw it in there for him after school, laughed and left.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    “Great …..” (Sarcastic voice) “How am I supposed to have safe sex with a woman I admire and love using a condom when my penis keeps pushing printed copies of this tragic story out my zipper?”

    “STOP IT ALREADY!” “Dammit, how many copies did you make?” “Where in the Hell did you get the money?” “What … hole in the pocket?”

  • brandi

    are we completely sure that some bully devil child, didn’t roll him up in the mat and stand it up upside down? shoe thing is a mystery, do they really know he was grabbing for a shoe? or did it come off in struggle of trying to get out? seems a lil crazy….

  • Minerva

    Poor kid. Did everything right, stayed out of trouble, and ends up dying from a freak accident over a shoe. A shoe! I pray for his family that they will find the closure needed to move on.

    Sometimes it seems families struggle more with an accident like this then murder. It’s sometimes easier to blame someone who committed an evil act then to accept that it was an accident with no one to blame.

  • Sam

    Not even just the mat. If its true that he went in after a shoe he would have had his nose in a sweaty sneaker.

  • JGo555

    Oh god!

  • Shangela

    My kids go to school in this district and there are still murmurings that the official story isn’t right. The gym he was found in is barely used, so why would he just be in there sitting on top of the mats? The parents are making a stink about all this and I do hope all angles are thoroughly investigated before everything is just closed and forgotten.

  • newstarshipsmell

    worse than a boob smothering, thats for damn sure.

  • Guest


  • Heather_Habilatory

    Why would he be somewhere he shouldn’t?

    He was 17. They do lots of silly things.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    A sweaty teenage boy sneaker… .eeeesh.

  • Shangela

    Makes sense, but it’s just odd he decided to go to an old gym by himself, in between classes, and just chill on top of wrestling mats. I mean if, when it’s all said and done, that that is what happened I hope his parents can accept it and start to heal. But for now it sounds a little off.

  • newstarshipsmell

    I concur.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    The family members ripped into the School Board, administration, and the Lowndes Co. Sheriff’s Office, too.

    For more: http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Family-Of-Student-Found-Dead-At-Lowndes-High-School-Speaks-Out-186712851.html

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    I don’t know about that… Dead’s dead.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    Would you rather die surrounded by teenage boy swamp-ass sweat or boob sweat?

  • midniteshadows

    OMG! What a horrible way to die. My younger bro’s best friend died similar to this. His truck overturned on an icy road and was hung upside down by his seat belt. He had tried to cut himself free with his pocket knife but the knife wouldn’t cut all the way through. God I remember that night. RIP Kendrick.

  • Wolf_of_Mars


  • Heather_Habilatory

    IF YOU HAD TO PICK. Geeeez, WoM. Answer the question!

  • gotdro69

    Not really the most gansta way to go but he still has a spot in thug mansion

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    I gave a perfectly good answer, just not one you expected, or wanted.

  • newstarshipsmell

    This is why I like you, Wolf. No homo.

  • Sam

    If this is the way you normally answer questions, it’s a complete mystery to me how your wife and / or girlfriend haven’t bashed your skull in yet. 😛

  • JohnQknowitall

    How did his shoe get there? Did someone throw it?

  • newstarshipsmell

    We may never know the answer, so we may as well speculate. My theory is his shoe was possessed by Satan and levitated into the center of the mat roll to lure him to his death.

  • daMonBrooks

    I got frustrated just reading the back and forth.
    *rage of a thousand kittens*

  • brandi

    i think you have an exceptional mind…..lol i’m thinkin the shoe came off in struggle

  • Evan Oswald

    why are they blaming the sheriff?

  • t0ofly

    This is probably the wrong place to post this but I thought I would anyways. Whenever I go to dreamindemon home the most recent article it shows me is the woman who drowned her autistic son because she was tired of caring for him. I thought Morbid was just taking a break for a couple weeks but when I clicked on his name it showed a whole bunch of recent articles he has posted. They don’t ever show up for me by default when I come to the site.

    Personal problem? am I doing something wrong? just thought I’d mention it.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    ugh. You’re incorrigible.

  • 18th40

    Everyone knows satan quit using levitation years ago, I’m reporting you to the dark lord, you’re not taking this seriously anymore.

  • Sam

    I had it for a while with a story from 17th May 2012 – try upgrading your browser / a different browser.

  • If it was in between classes and a not a place people really go my first assumption would be ditching class.

    I used to just walk around the school when I was supposed to be in class with my hall pass

  • Shangela

    That could be it, I was a lame duck and never skipped lol so I don’t know how that all works. If that was something he did often I would definitley see that as a possibility.

  • daMonBrooks

    When I use the default android browser I have the same issue. If possible try “loading page as desktop”

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    That’s wife AND G/F… We’re one happy ‘lil family.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Yup! That’s all part of my charm.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Didn’t think you graded “on the curve.” Wouldn’t matter anyhow, Wolfie’s straight. The Wife & G/F are a little bent, but, that’s another story…… LMRAO!

  • Zazen

    Talent like that will get you writing for worthy newsrags like The Weekly World News. Still, it’s best to stick with college >.>

  • newstarshipsmell

    Haha, I added the last as a joke. I mean, I’m straight, but I detest idiots who feel compelled to assert their heterosexuality after saying/doing something gay.

  • Sam

    I was accounting for the possibility that you might not piss them both off at the exact same time… 😉 Or do they close ranks anyway when it comes to putting you in your place? 😉

  • FrikkenFrak

    Mama don’t like these kinds of stories. I far prefer ones where it’s a bad guy who gets hurt, not an innocent kid.


  • Wolf_of_Mars

    For some reason, you seem to think that I need to be “put in my place.” An absolute truth is this: There has never been a cross word exchanged between the three of us. AND, it’s been years since my Wife & I have, either. Anger, drama, jealousy, and other base emotions cannot exist in our relationship for us to successfully pursue our chosen lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, this lifestyle doesn’t “spice up” relationships, it actually puts a spotlight any negative issues that may exist, and, may also create new ones.

  • LuvsHorror

    Damn, what a sad and lonely way to die. Poor kid.


    I hope this incident is fully investigated by all Ga authorities.We live in times where things of this magnitude are swept under the rug. Common sense says there is something wrong with this picture.god bless that young man and may hands of healing be placed on his family!!!!!!!

  • Wicked Smilee

    30 years ago, there was a similar situation at my school. Although the details are forgotten, I do remember the mat policy changed to strict no-roll, pile up flat. And when returning to the US from the middle east, my new school had the same mat policies. Strict no-roll, only. I wonder why that school didnt have the same safety policy?

  • That’s a pretty big assumption..

  • techsupp0rt

    Maybe clear cache and cookies. Fixes most of those dumb little issues.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    What the hell? How’d I get TWO down votes for feeling bad for the dead kid?

    Must be his relatives. They sure are blaming everyone and everything. Calling for the sheriff to step down. WHO would think to look in a FUCKING GYM MAT for a missing man?yes, he was “only” 17, but look at the picture. He’s man-sized. People need to get a grip on fuckin reality!

  • alphatroll

    So, I guess what you mean to say is those RealDolls® are working out well for you? 😉

  • alphatroll

    Gotta blame somebody.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Then, you’ve guessed incorrectly. Hell, I’ve never even heard of the product you seem to be so intimately aware of.

  • awww poor boy

  • Josh Apple

    Very sad and totally senseless. I wish the family the best.

  • Really Heather? How do you he wasn’t forced in there??? You don’t and even Know the situation at all !!!! And if you did you still should be more worried about his death asshole and all the people that agree with her is just as much as an asshole !!!

  • Heather_Habilatory

    Jesus. Flip out much?

    Guys of all ages do incredibly dumb things for funsies all the time. Even women do. The likelihood of this being murder is almost infinitesimal compared to to the odd of it being a freak accident. Murder is rare; stupidity is not.

    The only asshole here is you.

  • The family of a Lowndes High School student who died at school tonight is demanding a federal investigation.

    Today, investigators officially ruled 17-year old Kendrick Johnson’s death an accident.

    That announcement came just an hour before friends, family and civil rights activists marched outside Lowndes High School demanding justice.

    Today’s final autopsy report ruled the death an accident as a result of positional asphyxia.

    “I’m frustrated that my nephew was supposedly found in a mat, when that doesn’t make sense,” said Johnson’s Aunt, Stacy Roe.

    Civil Rights activists with Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and The United Justice League led the rally, calling for a federal investigation.

    “We want an independent investigation, lets just say by an agency with higher credentials than Lowndes County. There’s been a number of what we feel are inconsistencies, are mishandlings, and for that very reason is why we want another set of eyes,” said Atlanta’s National Action Network Chapter President, Marcus Coleman.

    “When you have the body that’s been moved, when you havethe Coroner’s Office being notified hours later, when you have the misplacement of his clothing, which could be a direct indicator of any evidence needed to move forward,” said Coleman.

    Lowndes County Sheriff’s officials say the statements of his body being moved and his clothes being misplaced are untrue. But Coroner Bill Waston has voiced his anger that he wasn’t notified until hours after Johnson’s body was discovered. The Sheriff’s office says the investigation still remains open.


  • Princess Marshall

    I heard somebody killed him and his mother said the police said he was in between two mats lien beside him! This is a lie and the school that he went to they said if he had enough of money to pay for a gym locker it wouldn’t of happened! Hmm this is very suspicious. Before my mom told us the story about a week or 2 ago my mom showed is his death picture and ask us what we thought happened to him. My little brother 9 said he looked like he was in a fire, I said he looked like he was beat up, and my 2 other brother and sister said he looked like he was beat up also! In my mind for some reason when she asked me that I thought he was wat up by the cops but I didn’t tell my mom that and then she told us the story. Things like this they want us to let go, but I will always remember what happened to all these innocent people. Let him RIP. Bring us justice please, bring us justice!

  • Murray Greschler

    Maybe there was no “bully devil child”…maybe it was a tragic accident.
    It could have happened this way (the FACTS are from the police, GBI, and FBI reports, 3 autopsies, and a number of student statements).
    FACT:The mats were already standing on end; they were placed that way over the Christmas break by the custodians so they could clean and wax the gym floor. FACT: That gym was regularly used by students/faculty; it was the “old gym”, but not out of use. Students and faculty were in and out of that gym Monday through Friday every week. FACT: Kendrick and his classmates regularly put their shared gym shoes in the mats (usually stored horizontally).

    Possibly, after the Christmas break, he went to get his gym shoes and found them at the bottom of the mat (stored upright). He was a skinny kid, he could see the shoes just out of reach. He wiggled himself in and got one shoe, wiggled out and tossed that shoe and then wiggled in to get the second shoe…then he got stuck. He couldn’t get himself out and he suffocated.
    This tragic scenario is far more likely than the wild accusations that his family members are making.

  • Murray Greschler

    I don’t get it…seriously.

  • Murray Greschler

    That gruesome photo, the “death picture” that your mother showed you, was taken by Kendrick’s father at the funeral home, after the autopsy was performed. His face looks horrid because that’s what happens to a human body after death due to decomposition.
    Kendrick’s death was a tragic accident; no one killed him. I know that may be what you and your mother ‘heard’, but it’s not true.