Emmett Till's family asks for new investigation into teen's death

by: Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

This undated file photo shows Emmett Louis Till from Chicago. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam were accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering Till for allegedly whistling at Bryant's wife. (Courtesy of the family of Emmett Till via AP, File)
(Courtesy/family of Emmett Till via AP
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Family members of a teenager who was tortured to death in 1955 are asking for the case to be reopened. 
 
 
Wheeler Parker and Deborah Watts, cousins of Emmett Till, are asking for a new investigation after a recently published book revealed the woman who claimed Till whistled, catcalled, caressed, flirted with or otherwise spoke to her exaggerated the claims.
In this Sept. 23, 1955, file photo. J.W. Milam, left, and Roy Bryant, right, sit with their wives in a courtroom in Sumner, Miss. Milam and Bryant were acquitted of murder in the slaying of Emmett Till.
AP Photo/File
 
Her accusation ultimately led to Till's death.
 
Till, a 14-year-old black teen, was kidnapped, beaten, shot and mutilated until he died before being tied up with barbed wire and thrown into a river. The then-husband of Carolyn Bryant, the 21-year-old white woman Till reportedly interacted with, was not charged for his part in Till's murder.
 
 
Now, a key witness is quoted in the book, "The Blood of Emmett Till,"  as saying she lied about what Till said and did before he was lynched.
 
Parker and Watts said a renewed probe of Donham's role could settle lingering questions. 
 
 
"We know that she has admitted that she lied, and we know that is part of the reason Emmett is no longer with us," said Watts. "If there is any chance to reopen the case, I hope they will take this opportunity to do it now."
 
"I don't know what else they could investigate," Parker said, according to The Associated Press. "(But) if they could bring more truth, I'd say investigate."
 
Donham, now 82, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has not responded to interview requests by the AP.
 
Read more at The Associated Press.
 
The Associated Press contributed to this report.