No federal criminal charges in the mysterious death of Kendrick Johnson

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Lawsuit Blames Classmates for Gym Mat Death

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday that there is not enough evidence to support federal criminal charges in the death of Kendrick Johnson.

In 2013, the body of 17-year-old Johnson was found by classmates in a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, GA.

A medical examiner determined Johnson died of accidental "positional asphyxia" and local authorities ruled his death a freak accident suggesting that Johnson got stuck in the mat after attempting retrieve a shoe.

Johnson's family believed foul play to be involved in his death, had his body exhumed and had a second autopsy performed on his body by an independent pathologist. The pathologist found blunt force trauma to his neck, concluding he had received a fatal blow near his carotid artery. This autopsy concluded that his death was the result of a homicide.

Outraged surrounding the mystery of Kendrick's deaths spread nation wide, and noted Trayvon Martin attorney, Benjamin Crump joined the family's efforts.

After a lengthy review of the circumstances surrounding Johnson's death, the Department of Justice determined there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges.

"After extensive investigation into this tragic event, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson's civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without the filing of federal criminal charges," a release read.

"All we ever asked for were answers and the truth about what happened to Kendrick and they still haven't given us any answers," Johnson's mom said in a news conference following the announcement.

Friends and family of Johnson staged protest to demand justice for him:

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Death of Kendrick Johnson
FILE- In this Dec. 13, 2013 file photo, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson stand next to a banner on their SUV showing their late son, Kendrick Johnson in Valdosta, Ga. The parents of Kendrick Johnson, who was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at school, have dropped a wrongful death lawsuit accusing two brothers of killing their son. Chevene King, the Johnsonsâ attorney, told The Valdosta Daily Times, Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the family eventually plans to refile the lawsuit. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, Regina Rawls chants during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, seen on the sign at right, in Atlanta. Long after Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in south Georgia, those closest to the case remain deeply divided over how the teenager died. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013 file photo, Jacquelyn Johnson, left, stands next to her husband Kenneth, right, at a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of their son, Kendrick Johnson in Atlanta. Long after Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in south Georgia, those closest to the case remain deeply divided over how the teenager died. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Keisha Moore, an aunt of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, waves at passing traffic as she sits with the teenager's mother, Jacquelyn Johnson, outside the Lowndes County courthouse in Valdosta, Ga., on Dec. 13, 2013. Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat on Jan. 11, 2013, and his family has rejected investigators' conclusion that he died in an accident. The teenagers' parents and relatives have been camping out with protest signs outside the courthouse every weekday for months. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Elsie Williams, center, Jarius Humprey, second right, and Yvette Humphrey, right, pray with relatives of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson on Dec. 13, 2013, in Valdosta, Ga. Johnson was found dead inside a rolled gym mat at his high school on Jan. 11, 2013, and authorities concluded he died in a freak accident. His family is fighting to reopen the case. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Kenneth Johnson rolls up his sleeve to show a tattoo of his late son, 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, on Dec. 13, 2013, in Valdosta, Ga. The teenager was found dead Jan. 11, 2013, inside a rolled up gym mat at his high school and authorities concluded it was a freak accident. Kendrick's family believes he was killed and has fought to reopen the case. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)
Makayah Evans, 9, listens to a speech during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of her cousin Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Jacquelyn Johnson, second from left, the mother of Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, is embraced by Monique Mosely, left, as Johnson's daughter Kenyetta, right, stands by following a rally, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest into his death. Johnson's body was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him, and they spoke, along with their lawyers, Wednesday at a "Who Killed K.J." rally held on the steps of the Georgia Capitol. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Jacquelyn Johnson, left, stands next to her husband Kenneth, right, at a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of their son, Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, speaks during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Demonstrators hold signs in front of the Georgia State Capitol during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A demonstrator holds up a sign in front of the Georgia State Capitol during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Tesha Tooley carries a sign with the image of her nephew, Kendrick Johnson, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, during a "Who Killed K.J." rally, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest into his death. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Regina Rawls chants during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, seen on the sign at right, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Demonstrators join hands in a moment of prayer during a "Who Killed K.J." rally in memory of Kendrick Johnson, seen on the banner at right, the south Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his school, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Atlanta. Lawyers for the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson are calling on the governor to order a coroner's inquest. The body of Johnson was found Jan. 11, and sheriff's investigators concluded that he died in a freak accident. Johnson's parents insist someone must have killed him. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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