Federal investigators are reopening the Emmett Till case, which started with the kidnapping and brutal murder of a black child in Mississippi in 1955.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. Justice Department said it would take another look at the case, closed in 2007, in a report to Congress in March.

The report does not contain details about the new information, but did coincide with the publication of a book titled “The Blood of Emmett Till.

Till, who was 14 at the time of his death, was murdered while visiting relatives in from Chicago. During the visit, Till and his cousins visited a store in Money owned by Roy and Carolyn Bryant, who said that Till grabbed her her arm, put his hands on her waist and made sexually suggestive comments.

Bryant and his brother, J.W. Milam, later kidnapped Till from his relatives’ home. Days later, Till’s body was found. He had been been badly beaten and shot. A cotton gin fan had been tied around his neck with barbed wire before he was thrown in the Tallahatchie River.

An open-casket photo of Till published in Jet magazine helped galvanize the modern civil-rights era. Roy Bryant and Milam were acquitted of the murders, but later confessed in a magazine interview.

In the new book on Till, Carolyn Bryant (now Donham) said she fabricated aspects of her testimony during her husband’s trial.

In June, Wheeler Parker, a cousin to Till and eye-witness to the events that took place in 1955, visited Mississippi for the rededication of a marker commemorating the case on the Tallahatchie River in Glendora. A previous marker was riddled with bullets in 2016.

See information from the FBI case files here. A transcript of the Bryant-Milam trial, which includes the testimony of Carolyn Bryant can be found here.

Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.