Woman whose accusation led to Emmett Till’s lynching has died.

Donham died on Tuesday night (25 April) while in hospice care in Westlake, Louisiana, based on a death record from the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office.

She was 88 years old at the time. Her death was announced on Thursday (27 April) after a biopic about the slain Mississippi teenager was published in January 2023.

Till was slain after Donham, then known as Caroline Bryant, blamed him of making ‘improper approaches’ and wolf-whistling at her when she was 14 years old.

She said this happened in 1955 in her family’s shop in Money, Mississippi, when Till was visiting relatives.

A lady had identified Till to Donham’s spouse, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother J.W Milam, according to evidence.

Till was taken from his house and tortured before his corpse was tossed into the Tallahatchie River not long after.

He wasn’t discovered for three days and was only recognised by a silver ring he was known to wear.

Bryant and Milam were cleared of murder by an all-white jury, despite subsequently admitting to the crime in an interview.

Mamie Till, his mom, even asked on an open coffin to demonstrate the horror of the atrocities committed against her son.

As a result, Till became a posthumous figure of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Last year, a 1955 unsealed arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant was found in the basement of the courthouse in Leflore County, Mississippi, under the name ‘Mrs. Roy Bryant’.

Till’s family members and the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation had launched the hunt.

Many had hoped that this would result in Donham being charged for her suspected role in the tragic case, but this was not to be.

Bryant was in her late nineties and residing in North Carolina at the time.

Despite the discovery of the arrest warrant, the office of Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch stated that there was not any fresh proof to pursue a criminal case against Donham.

As a result, a grand jury declined to indict her for Till’s killing.

And, just last month, Till’s cousin, Priscilla Sterling, filed a lawsuit against Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks, claiming that there was ‘no point’ in serving Donham’s arrest warrant due to her previous indictment.

“[Some people] have been clinging to hope that she could be prosecuted,” said Devery Anderson, author of “Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement.” She was the final one who was still involved.

“That can’t happen now.”

The Donham family has yet to issue a comment.

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