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US Attorney calls for more investigation of Valdosta, Ga., Kendrick Johnson's death

12:21 PM, Oct 31, 2013   |    comments
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A United State attorney says more investigation is needed to answer questions about the death of of Kendrick Johnson.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore held a news conference Thursday to discuss the Valdosta teenager whose body was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym.

"Federal jurisdiction is limited, and there may be circumstances where even if it is determined that Kendrick Johnson died as a result of a criminal act, it may not be a crime which could be prosecute in federal court," Moore said.

Moore is asking the public for any information and facts on the case. He says he has personally reviewed the case.

"At this time, what we need is people with actual facts and knowledge... Facts. Not feelings or opinions, no matter how sincere, are the basis of a legal investigation," he told a room of reporters in Macon Thursday afternoon.

He said a second autopsy report he received in late August revealed a "different conclusion" after the first one and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department closed the case.

Moore said he was not accepting or rejecting any of the previous investigations and would approach the case with an open mind.

Moore said he would not comment on the case further until his office has completed its review.

"As part of that process," Moore said, "there are several questions that must be answered or confirmed. First, what was the cause of Mr. Johnson's death. Second, was Mr. Johnson's death the result of a crime? Third, if Mr. Johnson's death was the result of a crime, who committed that crime? Fourth, if a crime was committed, who has the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those responsible?"

Moore said people with "factual and specific" 9information on the case could call his office at (478) 621-2701.

The 17-year-old's body was found Jan. 11 stuck in an upright mat propped behind the bleachers. Lowndes County sheriff's investigators concluded Johnson died in a freak accident, but his family insists someone must have killed him.

A southern Georgia judge on Wednesday ordered authorities to release all surveillance video that investigators reviewed. The 17-year-old's parents say they hope the video footage will contain clues to how he died.

WMAZ

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