Georgia High School Student Suffocates Inside Gym Mat

Parents say son's death might not have been an accident, urge further investigation.
3:00 | 10/31/13

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Transcript for Georgia High School Student Suffocates Inside Gym Mat
It's special room. Hello everyone anti Hernandez in New York -- -- ABC news digital special report a Georgia high school student dead after he suffocated inside a gym that. Seventeen year old Kendrick Johnson's death was ruled an accident by investigators but. His family finds the story unbelievable. And they say they want to know what really happened so today in judge in Georgia released this surveillance. Footage and the case file. And now the US attorney for the middle district of Georgia who has been watching the case. He's keeping a news conference let's listen. -- did that -- Johnson's death was result of -- as Dixie yeah. Specifically as a result of becoming accidentally lodged in the -- Shortly after the results of that opera too released in the investigation clothes -- allows katic sheriff's department. My office was contacted by the -- -- attorney he requested. A review of the local investigation. At that time requested and received a copy of the complete investigative report and -- from the allows -- sheriff's office. The investigative file includes reports. Photographs. Media -- statements and a number -- other documents. In late August of this year received a copy of the second -- -- report. Which reached a different conclusion after the calls of -- Johnson's death. For several months now my office has been continuously engaged in obtaining and reviewing all of the -- Case reports and other investigative findings that are -- viable pertaining to the detective Kendrick Johnson. Those efforts are Congo. As part of that process. There are several questions it must be answered or confirmed. First what was the calls -- mr. Johnson's day. Second was mister Johnson's -- at the result of a crime. Third. If mr. Johnson's death was the result of a crown who committed that crime. And Ford. If a crime in fact was committed who has the jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those responsible. Federal jurisdiction is limited. And there may be circumstances where even if it is determined to Kendrick Johnson died as a result of a criminal act. It may not be a crowd which could be prosecuted in the federal -- My office has received and reviewed the official documents and conclusions resulting from the initial investigation. And I have personally personally. Reviewed those documents -- have spoken to individuals involved in this investigation. I have offered through the -- attorney to meet with a Johnson family. And I have -- a couple of occasions with the -- -- investigator and have reviewed. A number of documents that he is provide. I asked the -- the attorney to provide me with a full report from his investigator. In any other evidence or information which he has developed. I receive that information about two weeks ago. We also asked the public to come forward with -- any additional information by my head. We are reviewed literally hundreds telephone calls we received about the case to determine. If any relevant information exists. You know I -- now again if anyone has any factual and specific information related to mr. Johnson's death. Please contact my office at 47 86212701. Many people -- -- cult to express their concerns fears and opinions about mr. Johnson's death and the subsequent investigation. And let me say that I appreciate the depth of those concerns. But at this time what we need. Are people with facts and knowledge of the circumstances surrounding mr. Johnson's -- to present those to us. Facts not feelings or opinions. No matter how sincere they may be on the basis of -- investigation. In this -- however I am of the opinion that sufficient basis exists for my office to conduct a formal review of the facts an investigation surrounding the death Kendrick jobs. I do this -- an open mind either accepting or rejecting the opinions of anyone. Who has previously investigated the circumstances of his. At my request the -- rapidly. Investigate -- in the world. Is cooperating with us and our efforts. -- sufficient information be developed a war criminal civil rights investigation now last FB so -- civil rights or any other appropriate. Criminal investigation. Is the United States attorney in within the confines of appropriate federal jurisdiction. -- will follow the facts wherever. -- ever lately. My objective is to discover the truth. And I believe that can only be done by gathering all of the evidence. And relevant information surrounding mr. Johnson's death. I'm committed to do -- everything in my power to answer the questions that exist in this case. Or as many of them as we can't. Now as those that you have covered the Department of Justice before -- -- -- for reform. We do not typically comment on pending investigations. Because this is now an ongoing investigation by my office. I'm not -- take questions at this time. Going forward I will not be making any public comments. About this matter until my investigative review is complete. -- this year each of you mr. Johnson's family. The law enforcement agencies the local community. And all those who -- -- -- have been effective -- is tragic circumstances. That my goal. And in -- my -- requires. Me to follow the facts. A -- a wall. And now protect the independence and objectivity. Of this investigative process. Like you all very much. We. You're listening there to Michael Moore the US attorney for the middle district of Georgia saying he will conduct a formal review of the investigation. Into the death of -- Johnson who suffocated inside and GM Matt. Right now let's -- -- ABC's diss Steve posts and some excuse me who is in Atlanta for more. Stephen is of this formal inquiry how does this change. -- case this was in effect a closed case and is no longer. -- -- -- -- I'm critical feedback they're doesn't change the case. That terribly -- We've been talking with the US attorney -- -- -- -- -- basic he has continued to tell us over and over again. That he and his office were looking into the details of the case. They certainly I think had been hoping or some sort of announcement they've been really really pressing the story trying to. Targeted to shake the -- to get some more information to get the public to come out to get someone to come forward. Not there was a lot of discussion yesterday about the judge. Or seeing the release these videos and documents apparently was really after. The names of those miners who are seeing that video hoping that they can contact them that they can. Earlier this investigation by talking those teams who may produce some information that explains what happened. There's not. -- is taken it upon themselves to hire an investigator. Even private autopsy. Yes Stanley hired a private medical examiner who was out of state. Who actually conducted another all out in that investigators determined that the son was killed by a blow to the net -- that they had. Which was quite different than what the coroner's report was saying and much different from what this year and school officials. Have been arguing. Though that information was presented to the US attorneys some time ago as he commented just a few moments ago and he and his office have been looking at that. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this case and this apparently is not going to rest until they get some of those answers and they made that quite clear. Com and and it it just seems highly unlikely to differently than their son could have died in this manner. Essentially what authorities are saying that he reached into a -- -- that. Looking for issue and -- somehow suffocated by falling into into that -- The young transponder. Famously posted a photo of himself on FaceBook actually trying to squeeze into one of these geometric he could barely get this he couldn't get -- shoulders and so -- that certainly isn't it and believing that this is an accident and they are really. Going the extra mile to make sure they can get -- US attorney share everyone looking into this. Case -- not closing based on determination they made so far. It's certainly been trying to to. Press this issue publicly is that perhaps would convince the judge to order the release of the surveillance footage and the full case -- that's pretty and usual. If it is probably that's probably exactly what happens is that they differently than accepting the fact that this is. This is an accident in the end they shown. Through depressed through. You know their -- -- that that. This they're just not buying. And so. -- good judge in releasing that information. Com. Actually said that it and indicated that he believed the Stanley had reason to be suspicious and for that reason. -- allowing the case file to be open. Now I must say that I talked with. Both -- sheriff's office yesterday and the school district and -- -- underlined that they made. These documents and these videos available for the Stanley. Or some time. One of the people -- talked yesterday that it was -- -- it is is just days ago they were offering this to the family. And that they felt they were being very very cooperative. And also election underlined that -- officials -- talked with yesterday say that they are very saddened by all of this and -- that what happened was unfortunate. Now obviously. It is an accident that is hard to believe -- an alleged accident that's hard to believe. Would and could happen but does the family have an alternative theory do they believe their son was being targeted for specific reason. Not a theory that we can cheer here. You know there are lot of rumors flying around but nothing that has. At anything that. That that is solid. You know the and we had their police in their concerns in it and in in if you read it it isn't on the law. You hear different -- circulated but nothing that that anyone can go. Ounces of formal review of the facts what does this mean going for hours. I'm not quite sure because that's. We've been we've been told that they were doing that so he could be just you know the US attorney. Going on record saying that that is offices is is doing a formal review and investigation. In to use this case. And I think that you know the release of this video and also just to you know what that what apparently done is given more attention -- this case. And demanded answers. If he Stevenson's Tommy in Atlanta Georgia thank you so much for following up on the story for us and we're sure. He'll be more to content thank you for joining us and you can get it complete recap right here on for now tech Hernandez in New York with his ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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