Published On: Sat, Feb 8th, 2014

Kendrick Johnson death: Family sues funeral home, ‘stuffing body with newspaper’ is fraud, negligence

The family of Kendrick Johnson, a Valdosta Georgia teen found dead in his high school gym over a year ago, has filed a lawsuit against the funeral home that handled his remains, alleging negligence and fraud.

Kendrick JohnsonThe lawsuit revolves around what the owner (Antonio Harrington) and employees of Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, Georgia, knew about the state of the young man’s body – stuffed with newspaper, organs and skull missing.

After exhuming the boy’s body, the family was shocked to learn of the condition of his body as they ordered a second autopsy. An investigation by a state board found that the handling of the body by the funeral home did not violate the law.

Johnson was found dead Jan. 11, 2013, inside a rolled up mat in the corner of a gymnasium at his high school. Detectives for the Lowndes County sheriff concluded he died in a bizarre accident, having gotten stuck upside down in the mat while reaching for a gym shoe.

Johnson’s family believes he was slain and have been seeking answers to his death.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has insisted all organs were returned to the body before it was sent to the funeral home.

Roy Copeland, the attorney for Harrington Funeral Home,has previously said the organs were missing when Johnson’s body arrived at Harrington Funeral Home.

Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson has said many of the organs were too badly decomposed to be preserved and were discarded immediately after the autopsy.

The family alleges that not only did the funeral home mishandle the organs, it disposed of them to thwart an investigation into Johnson’s cause of death.

“This lawsuit challenges the morally despicable, fraudulent, unlawful and unfair business practices” of Harrington Funeral Home, the court document states.

Antonio Harrington “intentionally, willfully and secretly” desecrated Johnson’s remains, the lawsuit claims.

It was a fraud intended to mislead and make it difficult to establish the manner and cause of death, the lawsuit alleges.


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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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