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Warrant Found For Woman Charged In 1955 Emmett Till Kidnapping

A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence in the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found an unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to arrest her nearly 70 years later, reports the Associated Press. A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham — identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document — was discovered by searchers inside a file folder, said Leflore County Circuit Clerk Elmus Stockstill. Documents are kept in boxes by decade, but there was nothing else to indicate where the warrant, dated Aug. 29, 1955, might have been. “They narrowed it down between the ’50s and ’60s and got lucky,” said Stockstill.


The search group included members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and two Till relatives: cousin Deborah Watts, head of the foundation; and her daughter, Teri Watts. Relatives want authorities to use the warrant to arrest Donham, who was married to one of two white men tried and acquitted after Till was abducted from a relative’s home, killed and dumped into a river. Keith Beauchamp, whose documentary film “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till” preceded a renewed Justice Department probe that ended without charges in 2007, said there’s enough new evidence to prosecute Donham. Donham set off the case in 1955 by accusing the 14-year-old Till of making improper advances at a family store in Money, Ms. Evidence indicates a woman, possibly Donham, identified Till to the men who later killed him. Donham is now in her 80s and living in North Carolina