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Family Marks Year Since Gym Mat Death Of Ga. Teen

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File photo Kendrick Johnson rally. (Credit: Sherman H. Smith, Jr./CBS Local)

File photo Kendrick Johnson rally. (Credit: Sherman H. Smith, Jr./CBS Local)

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VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — The family of a south Georgia teenager found dead inside a gym mat at his school a year ago is marking the anniversary with a memorial service.

Relatives, friends and supporters were scheduled to gather at noon Saturday to remember 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson of Valdosta. His body was found Jan. 11, 2013, in the center of a rolled-up gym mat at Lowndes County High School.

Sheriff’s investigators closed their case last May, concluding Johnson’s died in a freak accident. They believe he fell into the mat while reaching for a gym shoe and was unable to escape. The teenager’s parents insist someone killed their son. The U.S. attorney for middle Georgia  is reviewing the case.

The Saturday service was to be held at John W. Saunders Memorial Park in Valdosta.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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