Kendrick Johnson-Complaint Filed About Missing Organs
It’s bad enough when a son is missing and later found dead. That is multiplied when police say it was an accident, but the body gives sign of a struggle and beating. When it’s discovered that internal organs were removed and replaced with newspaper, that’s enough to send any parent into numerous, emotional hoops — and demands for answers.
The “Who Killed K.J.” rally held today at the state Capitol of Georgia came a day after filing a complaint with the state about the handling of Kendrick’s body.
17 year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in Valdosta, Georgia, on January 11, 2013. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) conducted an autopsy and ruled the death accidental, but his family questioned the ruling and had his body exhumed for a second autopsy. It was the second autopsy where it was discovered that Kendrick’s organs were missing and his body cavity was filled with newspapers.
The family’s complaint was filed Tuesday with the Georgia Board of Funeral Service, which is a division of the secretary of state’s office.
The complaint alleges that funeral home director Antonio Harrington, of the Harrington Funeral Home, which embalmed Kendrick and handled the funeral arrangements and burial, never informed the family the organs were missing. GBI said it replaced all of the organs after the autopsy. In an October 4, 2013 letter that Harrington wrote to C.B. King Jr., the attorney representing Kendrick’s family, he wrote that Kendrick’s organs had been “destroyed” and “discarded … before the body was sent back to Valdosta,” where the funeral home took custody of the body.
The complaint concludes by alleging that Harrington engaged in fraud and “facilitated a coverup” that deprived pathologists of “the means by which to determine how he may have died.”
The Georgia Board of Funeral Service says all investigations are confidential, but after a formal hearing, several resolutions are possible: It can close the probe and take no action; it can issue a “letter of concern,” which won’t be made public; it can issue a public inspection report; or it can publicly or privately handle any violation with the funeral home.
In October 2013, Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, opened an investigation into Kendrick Johnson’s death.