No federal criminal charges in the mysterious death of Kendrick Johnson

Lawsuit Blames Classmates for Gym Mat Death
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: