Following a recent report released regarding the controversial death of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, the Lowndes County Sheriff has offered half a million dollars of his own money.
Ashley Paulk reopened the case last year and pored over boxes of documents after years of controversy and conspiracies plagued the town.
“I’m going to try and dispel all the rumors and accusations,” Paulk shared with PEOPLE at the time. “I just want the truth. That’s all I want.”
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department issued a 16-page report last week stating there was no evidence to show that anyone else was responsible for Kendrick’s death, per the New York Times. The paper stated it as a “weird accident.”
Theories over Kendrick’s death started on Jan. 11, 2013, when he was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat, which was standing upright in a corner of the gym. His sock-covered feet were sticking out and there was blood found on his shoe located nearby.
For years, Jacquelyn Johnson, Kendrick’s mother, and her family demanded answers that were never answered.
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When authorities ruled Kendrick’s death accidental, theorizing he had fallen into the opening at the center of the mat and suffocated, the Johnsons conducted an independent autopsy of their own, which determined he was a victim of foul play.
“I’m going to fight this fight because, at the end of the day, that’s my child that’s in the grave,” Jacquelyn shared with the outlet in October.
Sheriff Paulk, who was not in office at the time of Kendrick’s death, sifted through 17 boxes of evidence in an effort to close a heartbreaking case that has caused uproar in their town. However, Kendrick’s parents didn’t agree.
Jacquelyn and her family gathered in downtown Valdosta this past Saturday to protest Paulk’s findings, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
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“They can always try and do what they want, but I’m going to stay in their face,” Jacquelyn stated in a Facebook live stream, the outlet reported.
This past Monday, Sheriff Paulk announced he would be using his own money for a reward to anyone who provides any information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“After the release of my synopsis of the federal files on the Kendrick Johnson case, his parents have called me a liar and continue to state that Kendrick was murdered,” he wrote, according to the paper.
“Because of these statements, I am personally — with my own funds — offering a reward of one-half million dollars … to anyone who comes forward with information that results in the arrest and conviction of a person for the alleged murder of Kendrick Johnson at Lowndes County High School.”
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you’re looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.