Authorities in Lowndes County, Georgia announced they’ve received possible new evidence in the investigation of the 2013 death of Kendrick Johnson whose body was found rolled up in a gym mat at his school.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk reopened the case earlier this month on March 9 after receiving evidence from the federal investigation he previously requested.
On Friday (March 19), Fox 5 Atlanta reported that Paulk received an audio recording of someone confessing to Johnson’s murder. The teen’s mother, Jackie Johnson reportedly obtained the recording and handed it over to the sheriff.
“They had a recording that they actually purchased from someone who said it would be valuable as far as saying who possibly had committed the crime and change their situation,” Paulk told the news outlet.
Investigators are working to authenticate the recording and get details on its chain of custody, Paulk told the outlet. “If it’s a hoax, it’s a very, very cruel hoax to do to Mrs. Johnson,” Paulk said.
Kendrick was 17 years old at the time of his death when classmates found his body in a rolled up mat in the school’s gym. Authorities at the time said he became trapped in the mat accidentally, but his family has maintained that schoolmates were responsible for his death and officials had worked to cover up the truth.
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