Funeral home that stuffed Kendrick Johnson with newspaper being sued

kendrick johnson funeral program

The family of Valdosta, Ga., teen Kendrick Johnson is suing the funeral home that processed his body.

News reports revealed that Johnson’s body cavity was stuffed with newspaper and had no internal organs. The family contends that the funeral home improperly disposed of Johnson’s organs to hinder the investigation into his death.

Harrington Funeral Home denied  any wrongdoing while handling the body. The funeral home was cleared by  the Georgia State Funeral Home Board, which ruled newspaper is not “precluded as  one type of foreign substance that may be introduced into a body for purposes of building it up for public display.” When preparing a body for burial,  usually the  body cavity is dusted with embalming powder and filled with sawdust or other  material mixed with embalming compounds.

The GBI did the initial autopsy and sent the remains to the funeral home;  it was after the second autopsy that the family discovered the newspaper. The  autopsy also revealed that Johnson died from blunt force trauma, which conflicted with the initial cause of death.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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