UPDATE 1/6/14 @ 5:45 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Denise Bradley's life has been turned upside down. Last month, her husband Larry, a decorated Marine, father and avid hunter, was shot and killed while sitting in his tree stand in the Bidwell area of Morgan Township.
"He called me at 8:23 that morning and said, 'You've got to help me,' " Denise Bradley said. "I knew he had a tree stand out there. I said, 'I have to know what's wrong,' and he said, 'Just help me. Hurry.' "
By the time Denise could call family members for help, it was too late.
"He started choking and coughing," Bradley said, "and there was nothing. I was on the phone with him from 8:23-8:28 and the last minute I spent yelling in that phone to try and get him back."
Investigators with the Gallia County Sheriff's Department have been looking into whether the shooting was accidental, until they caught what could be a break in the case.
"We received an anonymous letter from someone basically claiming responsibility for that death, and reaching out to us to ask us to pass onto the family that it was accidental and not intentional," Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said.
Denise believes the shooting was an accident, but wants whoever wrote the letter to take full responsibility.
"God forgives, but not if you're hiding," Bradley said. "It's not giving me any closure just for someone to write a letter. I would rather them show up on my doorstep and say, 'Hey, I'm really, truly sorry' and make it right. I want justice for him. He did not deserve to die like this. A letter is just not enough."
Sheriff Browning says he's not ready to say "100 percent" that Larry's death was an accident. Sheriff Browning has sent the letter to Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation to see if they can find any fingerprints or any other information that could lead them to the person who pulled the trigger.
If you have any information, you're urged to call the Gallia County Sheriff's Department at 740-446-1221.
Larry Bradley, 45, of Bidwell, was found dead from a gunshot wound off Thaxton Road in Morgan Township last month.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning released a portion of the letter Monday during a press conference with Bradley's widow
In the letter the person said, "I am so sorry for the hurt and pain that I caused on that can. Can you please tell the family I am so sorry."
Both Browning and Bradley's widow are now asking the person who wrote the letter to come forward.
Denise Bradley tells WSAZ.com that her husband called her after he was shot. She said that he told her he needed help and she needed to come to the woods. He would not tell her what happened. She said she was on the phone with him when he passed away.
Sheriff Browning says Mr. Bradley was shot in the back. No other information about the shooting were released Monday.
Investigators say that Bradley was wearing blaze orange while he was hunting.
Sheriff Browning says his office is working with the Gallia County Prosecutor's Office to discuss what charges could be filed, and how, if this was an accident, they can move forward.
The letter has been sent to Ohio BCI to be analyzed.
If you have any information regarding this investigation, call the Gallia County Sheriff's Office.
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