Federal authorities said Monday they will not bring charges against anyone in the death of Valdosta teenager Kendrick Johnson and declared the long-simmering case closed.
Johnson’s body was found in January 2013 in a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes High School in Valdosta. His parents have long been convinced that he was killed, and they even named suspects in a civil lawsuit.
“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,” a statement from the Justice Department said. “Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without the filing of federal criminal charges.”
The statement quoted Acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon as saying that the Justice Department as well as the lawyers and investigators on the case “express their most sincere condolences to Kendrick Johnson’s parents, family, and friends. We cannot imagine the pain of their loss, or the depths of their sorrow. We regret that we were unable to provide them with more definitive answers about Kendrick’s tragic death.”