Kendrick Johnson Gym MatValdosta, Georgia, police have received an apparent tape documenting an individual’s confession to murdering teenager Kendrick Johnson, whose body was found in a rolled-up mat in his high school’s gymnasium in 2013, Crime Online reports.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk has reported that Kendrick Johnson’s mother got her hands on the tape of the person confessing to murdering the boy and rolling him in the gym mat.
Even though eight years have passed since the 17 year old’s body was found in the gym mat, Kendrick Johnson’s family apparently purchased the tape only quite recently.
The mom then passed the tape along to the authorities
Paul said the family purchased the recording from someone who claimed it was “valuable as far as saying who possibly had committed the crime and change their situation.”
Kendrick Johnson: Possible audio confession surfaces in 2013 case of high-schooler found dead in gym mat
The local authorities are in the process of confirming the authenticity of the tape that reportedly offers an answer to who killed Kendrick Johnson and wrapped up his body in the gym mat.
“If it’s a hoax, it’s a very, very cruel hoax to do to Mrs. Johnson,” Paulk insisted.
Kendrick Johnson’s body was found in the gym mat at Lowndes High School in January 2013.
11 Alive reports that authorities have only just reopened the Johnson case.
The tape contains a confession to killing Johnson
Family of teen found dead in rolled-up gym mat says they gave audio confession to investigators
Georgia authorities have long maintained that even though Kendrick Johson’s body was found in the gym mat under suspicious circumstances, his death was accidental and the result of a freak accident.
Johnson’s family has refused this assessment as nonsense and has accused authorities of a cover-up.
After receiving the apparent confession tape, authorities are now looking to re-interview key witnesses who may be able to help them crack the case and determine how Kendrick Johnson’s body wound up in the gym mat.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports that Paulk said of the Johnson family, “They had a recording that they actually purchased from someone who said that it would be valuable as far as saying who possibly had committed the crime and change their situation.
The sheriff says his office will not be releasing the audio recording at this time.
Kendrick Johnson murder case: Sheriff receives possible audio confession
Kendrick Johnson’s family has long maintained that teenagers Brian and Brenden Bell killed him along with their friend Ryan Hall and put him in the gym mat.
The Bell brothers are the sons of an FBI agent.
However, video footage documents that Brian Bell and Hall were on school grounds but not near the spot where Kendrick Johnson is believed to have died and wound up in a gym mat. As for Branden Bell, he was attending a wrestling tournament in Macon at the time of Johnson’s tragic demise.
CNN reports that this new phase of the investigation could take up to six months.
“My plan is to see if there are any discrepancies between the reports,” said Paulk, who is leading the investigation. He added he has no predisposition regarding the case. “I’m hoping that he does the right thing,” Kenneth Johnson said of Paulk. “I just hope that the truth comes out.”
Investigation into death of Georgia teen found in a rolled-up gym mat 8 years ago will be reopened