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Mystery Surrounds Death of ‘American Idol’ Contestant’s Brother

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Remember ‘American Idol‘ contestant Savion Wright’s emotional song dedication to his late brother last week? The backstory has been revealed, and the details are as disturbing as they are sad.

For his Hollywood Week performance, 21-year-old Savion, from Jasper, Texas, performed an original song called ‘Breathing Underwater.’ He dedicated it his brother Alfred, who was found dead just two and a half weeks before Savion left for California. “It’s been really hard on my family,” Savion said. “I was close to him. I really looked up to him. I put all my anger and my emotions into my song.”

No details on Alfred’s death were revealed during the show, but Texas news station KHOU reports that federal investigators are now looking into the 28-year-old physical therapist’s death.

Last November, Alfred called his wife, Lauren, for help after his truck broke down on his way to visit a patient. She called him back several minutes later. “And that’s when I heard the heavy breathing, the respiratory distress of some kind,” said Lauren. “It was very heavy breathing and I just could sense that something wasn’t right.”

Four days later, Alfred’s truck was found. A search by authorities for the missing man was suspended after four days. Friends and family, who continued the search, found Alfred’s body face down in the woods, 18 days after he first went missing.

An initial autopsy conducted by the county concluded that he died from a lethal amount of meth, cocaine and amphetamines. The Wright family, who insist Alfred never used drugs, requested a second, independent autopsy. That one showed that his throat appeared to have been cut and he was missing his tongue and an ear. “I know my husband was killed by somebody,” said Lauren. “There’s no question in my mind.”

Adding to the mystery is that it occurred in Jasper. In the same town in 1988, a black man was dragged to his death by three white men in a pickup truck.

Next: See 'Idol' Winners Then + Now

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