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FBI and US Postal Service involved in the investigation of a threatening letter received in Stoughton

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    STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Harry and Hester Hale have lived in Stoughton for six years. "It's a good town," Harry said. "We have good neighbors." But he said nothing could prepare him for what he found in his mailbox Wednesday afternoon. Harry opened an envelope, with no return address written on it, to find a picture depicting the lynching of two African Americans.More >>
    STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Harry and Hester Hale have lived in Stoughton for six years. "It's a good town," Harry said. "We have good neighbors." But he said nothing could prepare him for what he found in his mailbox Wednesday afternoon. Harry opened an envelope, with no return address written on it, to find a picture depicting the lynching of two African Americans.
    More >>
STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Federal officials have joined an investigation into a suspicious letter sent to a Stoughton family earlier this week.

Harry and Hester Hale tell 27 News they got a letter addressed to their 18-year-old son on Wednesday, that depicted two African Americans being lynched and a photo of their son superimposed onto the picture.

Stoughton police say detectives have sent the letter to the Wisconsin state crime lab and have been in contact with FBI and U.S. Postal Service investigators.

27 News caught up with Harry Hale a day after the news came out about the letter. He says the family is still shaken, especially his son, who has chosen to stay with someone else outside of town during the investigation.

Hale says he's constantly worried about his family and whether someone out there is threatening them.

"We honestly don't know what's going on, we don't know what to expect. To be honest with you, my wife is very upset, she can't sleep at night," says Hale. "We have to take the threat serious, we don't know where it's coming from, what they're going to do."

Hale says the Stoughton community has been very supportive, including his neighbors, like Linda Ylvisaker.

"I don't understand it, because [Harry]'s just a very nice person, i just don't get it," says Ylvisaker. "It's scary that someone would be so inhumane to another person, that's just cruel."

Both police and city leaders declined on camera interviews Friday regarding the investigation. Mayor Donna Olson told 27 News on the phone this is the first time she's heard of anything like this happening in Stoughton since she's been in office.

Olson says she wants the community to know that Stoughton welcomes all people and wants everyone to feel safe.

"We are taking it extremely serious and looking into it and we do not tolerate this type of behavior," she says.

In a statement, Police Chief Greg Leck reiterated Olson's sentiments.

"The person(s) responsible will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," the release reads.

27 News reached out to several alders in Stoughton.

"I am saddened and angered by such a display of ignorance and intolerance," Alder Greg Jenson says in an email.

At this time, police are not releasing any other details of the investigation because it is ongoing, but ask anyone with information on the incident to call the Stoughton Police Department at (608) 873-3374.

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STOUGHTON (WKOW) --- Stoughton Police are working with the FBI and US Postal Service on an investigation involving the report of a threatening letter received by a  family in Stoughton.

According to the Hale family, that letter contained a picture depicting the lynching of two African Americans. His 18-year old son's face had been superimposed onto one of the bodies.

The Wisconsin State Crime Lab is processing the letter.

Stoughton Mayor Donna Olson and Stoughton Police Chief Greg Leck say this type of behavior will not be tolerated and the person or persons responsible will be prosecuted.

Police will not release any other information pending the investigation.

If you have any information please call the Stoughton Police Department at (608) 873-3374.

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