Black father found dead with throat cut, ear missing: Texas sheriff claims he overdosed
Alfred Wright, a 28-year-old physical therapist, was on his way to see a patient when his pickup truck broke down in Sabine County, Tex. His wife Lauren alerted his parents who went to help him. When Lauren called him back, all she heard was heavy breathing. She grew frantic and knew he was in distress. She sent texts pleading with him to call her. When his parents arrived on the scene, there was no sign of Alfred. His pickup truck was still parked at the package store, CL&M Grocery, Inc., but Alfred was long gone. The store clerk said she saw Alfred, who was dressed in scrubs, but claims after he talked on his cell phone, he stuffed his cell phone in his socks and took off running, of “his own free will.”
Alfred knew help was on this way, so it’s questionable that he’d run off into the woods in a town where racial tension is highly prevalent.
Alfred grew up in Jasper along with his four siblings. His father is a pastor and middle school gym teacher. “Alfred was a man of great faith,” his wife tells CNN. A football player while in college, she goes on to say “he loved his family, was very ambitious and hard working … fun loving and brilliant.”
His family questions the sheriff’s office commitment to finding Alfred when they abruptly halted the search after only four days, saying they’ve exhausted their resources, Alfred would be listed as a missing person and there was no indication of foul play. They even said this case was likely drug related and Alfred ripped off his clothes after having hallucinations.
Alfred’s watch, clothing and his identification were found in the area near where deputies claimed to have searched.
His lifeless body was found 18 days after he went missing in November 2013, the week of Thanksgiving, near Hemphill in Sabine County, Tex. which is 45 minutes away from where “in the pre-dawn hours of June 7, 1998, James Byrd Jr. was walking home in Jasper, when he was stopped by three white men who offered him a ride home. Byrd got in the bed of their pick-up truck, but the men did not take him home. Instead, they drove him to a desolate, wooded road east of town, beat him severely, chained him to the back of the truck by his ankles and dragged him for more than three miles. The murderers drove on for another mile before dumping his torso in front of an African American cemetery in Jasper,” according to the police report.
Tragically, Alfred was found by volunteers and his father. He was stripped to his boxer shorts, wearing only a single sock with his cell phone tucked inside, and both his sneakers. He was missing an ear, two front teeth and his throat was slit. There was not a lot of decomposition in comparison to most bodies found in the elements after 18 days. On November 26, 2013, forensic pathologist John W. Ralston MD, ruled his death “accidental” due to “combined drug intoxication,” in other words, a drug overdose – cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamines.
The family isn’t buying it because Alfred never used drugs. His family had their own autopsy and the pathologist concluded that he died of severe trauma to the neck and head and a gash across his throat.
The county’s autopsy report didn’t address the cut on his neck or throat area and also went on to report that any damage caused to the body was caused by animal activity, offering no explanation why the cut across his neck was a straight line and why the animals didn’t chew him to the bone after being out in the woods for over 18 days.
Every single day that passes, evidence is lost or destroyed. Please help this family find answers. Alfred took care of his wife and three sons financially and the family is seeking donations, any help is appreciated. Click here to help: Alfred Wright Foundation at GoFundMe.
Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, senior member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, recently announced “the Department of Justice will investigate and take appropriate action and will conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and to take appropriate action necessary to vindicate the federal interest, protect the civil rights of all Americans, ensure that all persons receive equal justice under law.
“We are all better off when the facts are discovered, the truth is discerned and the family and the community are at peace.”