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A mother’s devotion

How many times should you dig up a body to find out how it died? If you are a grieving mother there’s probably no limit.

Kendrick Johnson was 17 when he was found dead five years ago in a rolled-up gym mattress. The first autopsy said he died of “accidental positional asphyxia”; he got stuck inside the gym mat while trying to reach for a pair of sneakers. As verdicts go, that seems highly implausible. A strong 17 year-old lad ought to be able to wriggle out of a gym mat – unless people were sitting on it.

His mother, Jackie, is an indefatigable fighter. She forced an exhumation of the body and a second autopsy which showed Kendrick died from blunt force trauma. This third autopsy – if it happens – will, it’s hoped by her, prove her son was murdered.