Anonymous letter left at Ahmaud Arbery’s memorial site has no connection to case: Investigators


BRUNSWICK, Ga (ABC News) – An anonymous letter left at the makeshift memorial in the Satilla Shores, Georgia, neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down during a confrontation with a father and son, has no connection to the case, authorities said.

The family of Arbery and their attorneys hoped the letter would provide helpful details for authorities, but the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced on Thursday that the note was misleading.

“The GBI has identified the individual that wrote this note. The individual is not connected to the Ahmaud Arbery murder investigation in any way,” the agency said in a statement posted on Twitter. No arrests will be made, officials told ABC News.

The haiku-like note consists of five separated lines written with blue ink on the right side of a folded white letter printed paper.

Erik S. Lesser/EPA via ShutterstockPeople protest the shooting death of unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery outside the Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Ga., May 8, 2020. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested…

The first line is addressed to Arbery by his first name.

“I am so sorry,” the second line read.

“I should have stopped,” the third line read with “them” on the fourth line.

“I am so sorry,” the note ended without a signature.

“This person was expressing their condolences for Arbery’s death,” GBI said in a statement. “We’ve received numerous tips and inquiries related to this and wanted to be sure to update the public. This investigation remains active and ongoing.”

One of the family’s attorneys S. Lee Merritt told ABC News that after the GBI “dismissed” the letter, there was further information turned over for the agency to investigate the author.

“We have received an anonymous tip purported to be someone familiar with the person who wrote the note and known to the McMichaels. That person has credible evidence that can authenticate the letter,” said Merritt. “‘The note is inconsistent of a well wisher, because it says they are sorry they should have stopped them.”

“Our original statement stands,” said a spokeswoman for the GBI in response to continuing an investigation into the anonymous letter.

Arbery, an African American, was on his daily jog, his family says, on February 23 when he was encountered by Gregory and Travis McMichael, both white and armed with guns.

Cellphone video captured by William Bryan and leaked onto social media on May 5, showed Arbery and Travis McMichael, armed with a shotgun, tussling as Gregory McMichael stands in the white pick-up truck’s flat bed trunk with a .357 magnum handgun.

John Bazemore/APA woman displays a sign during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man, May 8, 2020, in Brunswick Ga.A woman displays a sign during a rally to protest the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man, May 8, 2020, in Brunswick Ga.John Bazemore/AP

Three shots go off and Arbery collapsed and died.

The Glenn County Coroner’s Office’s report revealed that 11 shotgun pellets were removed from Arbery’s chest and there were several injuries throughout his body. Arbery had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

The McMichaels were not arrested and charged with Arbery’s murder until May 7, two days after Bryan’s video leaked onto social media and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations were brought into the case. The two previous prosecutors, who recused themselves from investigating Arbery’s death, are under investigation for their handling of the case.

The family’s attorneys are seeking federal hate crime charges.

Glynn County Sheriff's OfficeTravis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, right, in a photos released on May 7, 2020, after their arrest in Georgia. The father and son have been charged with murder in the…

Gregory McMichaels told the police after the mid-afternoon shooting that he and his son pursued Arbery as the suspect of “several break-ins” in their neighborhood.

Security cameras from neighbors and inside the construction site before the shooting allegedly showed Arbery walking into a house and looking around.

In that section of the Satilla Shores community, there was a report of a burglary on Jan, 1 in whiich Travis McMichael’s gun was allegedly stolen from his truck and three reports of an alleged trespasser at a construction site.

Sean Rayford/Getty ImagesA cross with flowers and the letter A sits at the entrance to the Satilla Shores neighborhood where Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed, May 7, 2020 in Brunswick, Ga. Arbery was shot…

A 911 call made by Travis McMichael on Feb. 11 was obtained by Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

Travis McMichael described the alleged suspect as having short hair and standing about 6 feet tall, wearing red shorts and a white shirt.

In the police report obtained by ABC News, Larry English, the owner of the property, said he had an ongoing issue with an “unknown male black continuously trespassing and plundering.”

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