Willie James Howard was a fifteen-year old African American child who was lynched by three white men in Live Oak, Florida on January 2, 1944. His offense was writing a love letter to a white girl whose father led the attack on the boy. The boy's father was also abducted and had to watch his son murdered by being forced at gunpoint to jump into the Suwannee River with his hands and feet tied. An all-white Suwannee County grand jury refused to indict the men although the girl's father admitted abducting Willie James and tying his hands and feet on the way to the Suwannee River. The local sheriff ordered the body buried within twenty-four hours. Although fully apprised of events, the governor refused to intervene. Willie James, who was an only child, was buried in an unmarked grave for over sixty years.