The development in the case came amid revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir written by the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham.
The arrest warrant, dated August 29, 1955, was discovered inside a box in the basement of a Mississippi courthouse, leading Till’s relatives to call for action.
A Leflore County grand jury has since determined there was insufficient evidence to indict Donham on charges of kidnapping and manslaughter, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced via a news release Tuesday.
“The murder of Emmett Till remains an unforgettable tragedy in this country and the thoughts and prayers of this nation continue to be with the family of Emmett Till,” Richardson added.
The story of what happened to Till has haunted many after he was abducted, tortured, and killed in Mississippi in 1955.
The Black teen was accused of offending a white woman, Bryant, in her family’s grocery store by whistling at her, leading her then-husband and brother-in-law to commit one of the most barbaric lynchings in U.S. history.
Till’s cousin, Reverend Wheeler Parker, Jr., was disappointed by the news, telling CBS that he did see it coming.
“The prosecutor tried his best, and we appreciate his efforts, but he alone cannot undo hundreds of years of anti-Black systems that guaranteed those who killed Emmett Till would go unpunished, to this day,” Parker said in the statement.
As we previously reported, Donham is spending her final days in hospice care within her small apartment community in Kentucky. She reportedly suffers from cancer and is legally blind, having been seen with oxygen tubes looped over her ears.
In an excerpt from her memoir I Am More Than A Wolf Whistle, Donham had said she was unaware of the gruesome fate that awaited Till.
“I did not wish Emmett any harm and could not stop harm from coming to him, since I didn’t know what was planned for him,” one part read.
She further claimed in a later excerpt, “I have always prayed that God would bless Emmett’s family. I am truly sorry for the pain his family was caused.”