Till's Remains Returned to Gravesite

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Emmett Till, who was black, was visiting family in 1955 in Money, Miss., when he was abducted from his uncle's home and found dead three days later. He was allegedly beaten to death for whistling at a white woman.

Till's body was exhumed from a suburban Chicago cemetery at the request of federal investigators last week and reburied in a new blue casket.

Simeon Wright, a cousin who was sleeping in the same bed with Till the night he was taken, described the 40-minute service Saturday as emotional and somber.

He said it brought back memories of the night Till was abducted and reminded him of the lasting impact his cousin's death has had. The crime galvanized the Civil Rights movement.

Federal investigators exhumed Till's remains Wednesday, saying DNA or other evidence could provide new information on the circumstances surrounding the 14-year-old's murder. Results from the autopsy have not been released.

Wright said FBI officials told him Till's body was remarkably well-preserved and the autopsy results offered good news.

Two white men charged with the murder -- Roy Bryant and his half brother J.W. Milam -- were acquitted by an all-white jury. The two, now dead, later confessed to beating and shooting Till in a Look magazine article. They said they killed the teenager because he whistled at Bryant's wife.

During the trial, defense attorneys suggested the body found in the river was not Till's and that the boy was still alive. FBI officials have said they hope the autopsy results will disprove that theory.


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