GALLIPOLIS — “As of Dec. 2 my life has changed forever.”
These are the opening words of a letter written by an anonymous writer who claims responsibility for the shooting death of Larry Bradley last December.
Bradley, 45, of Bidwell, was found shot during the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2013 — the opening day of Ohio’s deer gun season. Bradley was located in a deer stand in the Thaxton Road area in Morgan Township.
Initially, investigators thought that the gunshot wound that took Bradley’s life might have been self-inflicted, but further investigation revealed that Bradley was shot by another individual.
After weeks of investigation, an anonymous letter was received by the sheriff’s office around Christmas — a letter whose author takes responsibility for the death of Bradley.
A portion of this letter was later released to the public in hopes that the person responsible would come forward; that, however, has not happened in the ensuing months, according to Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning.
Now, investigators are releasing the letter in its entirety, with the hopes that further information regarding this case will be brought forward by the public.
“The next step is to publish the letter in its entirety in the hope that whoever is responsible will contact this office and bring this tragic event to a close,” a release issued by the sheriff’s office on Monday afternoon reads.
Browning reported that releasing the letter this week coincides with the first day of Ohio’s turkey hunting season as — although it is unknown whether or not the person responsible for Bradley’s death is a local individual — people who might have been in the area at the time of the shooting may be returning to Gallia County to hunt once again.
Browning further reported that, since being received by his office last December, the actual letter has been in the hands of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for testing to determine whether any information can be obtained from the letter itself.
“We can’t say what was or was not on the letter, but we need more information,” Browning said.
The following is a transcription of the letter in its entirety. All spelling is as it appears in the original document:
“As of Dec. 2 my life has changed forever. I was hunting on the land that borders the Russel farm tracking a deer I shot just after daybreak. I knew I was trespassing huntin on land I didn’t have permission to hunt on. When I shot at the deer I had been tracking I herd someone started yelling it scared me so much cause I didn’t have permission to be there hunting and I couldn’t afford a fine so I ran back to public hunting land and finishe my day hunting. It wasn’t until I herd on the news later that day I new what had happened. I am so sorry for the hurt and pain that I caused on that day. Can u please tell the family I am so sorry. I have told no on of this not even my wife or kids. This is eating at me like a cancer. Please tell the family I am sorry. My life will never be the same, I am not a bad man just a very scared and sorry man.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 446-1221 or the tip-line at (740) 446-6555.