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US prosecutor to review odd gym death in Ga.

MACON, Ga. — A federal prosecutor said Thursday he will review the facts and evidence in the death of a teenager whose body was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym.

US Attorney Michael Moore said that if he uncovers sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal civil rights investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson he will ask the FBI to conduct it.

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‘‘I will follow the facts wherever they lead. My objective is to discover the truth,’’ Moore said.

Moore said he’s reviewing a previous investigation by a sheriff’s office and two autopsies done on Johnson, along with photos, videos, and other evidence and information. He said he’s met with investigators and the attorneys for Johnson’s family.

‘‘I am committed to doing everything in my power to answer the questions that exist in this case, or as many of them as we can,’’ Moore said.

The 17-year-old’s body was found Jan. 11 stuck upside down in an upright mat in the gym after his parents reported him missing the night before. Lowndes County sheriff’s investigators concluded Johnson died in a freak accident while trying to retrieve a shoe, but his family insists that someone must have killed him.

An attorney for the Johnsons praised Moore’s action.

‘‘We have to solve this murder mystery and we think the federal government’s intervention is one step closer to solving this mystery,’’ said attorney Benjamin Crump.

A Georgia judge on Wednesday ordered the release of all surveillance video that investigators reviewed.

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