An Illinois family is working with police after receiving an anonymous letter threatening their 8-year-old interracial daughter on Aug. 23.
“You better keep that nasty black thing under control otherwise you just might find it in a ditch somewhere,” the writer said in the letter CBS affiliate WMBD-TV obtained. “Nothing but garbage ALL of YOU! Get out of this neighborhood. You are nothing [but] trash.”
Leona Heller, the great-grandmother of the child, Audrey Harvey, opened the letter at her Canton home.
The city is about 195 miles southwest of Chicago.
The letter writer added, this is the “1st warning.”
Heller told WMBD she cried when she got it.
“When I opened it and I seen the letter I got really mad [and] angry and I just wanted to go around and knock on everyone’s door and find out where this letter came from,” she said. “What right do you have to say this to my grand daughter?”
Heller told WMBD the child is afraid to play outside.
“My granddaughter is paranoid,” she said. “She won’t go off this street and that’s not right.”
When asked what she thinks would happen if she rode her bike around the neighborhood, the child told WMBD:
“My grandma, my mom, my family might find me in a ditch like he said in the letter.”
Canton police officers told WMBD the letter will be forensically analyzed, but murder cases and unsolved crimes take precedence.
“That’s the problem it’s sitting at the Morton Crime Lab as we speak, but it’s sitting on a backlog,” police spokesman Edward Glad told the news station.
“This is one of those things that will have to wait its turn, unfortunately. Fingerprinting is not an easy thing to do. It takes a while to track down anything in the system that might match up to it,” Glad said.
Heller said she doesn’t know what the world is coming to.
“I just want everything to stop and stop now,” Heller told WMBD.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Canton Police Department at (309)-647-5131 or Canton Crime Stoppers at (309)-647-3636.