Police are investigating a letter sent to the family of a Canadian boy with autism that calls the 13-year-old a "wild animal kid" and says the family should "move or euthanize him."
The anonymous letter was sent to Brenda Millson, the grandmother of Max Begley. Max often goes to his grandmother's home in New Castle, Ontario, for sleepovers, the family told the Toronto Star.
The four-paragraph letter claims to be from another mother in Millson's neighborhood, and complains that the boy disturbs the neighborhood.
"You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighborhood like this????" the letter says. "You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!!"
The family is apparently close to singers and "Nashville" stars Lennon and Maisy Stella, who are Canadian. They posted the letter on their Twitter account over the weekend, and it has sparked international attention over the past several days.
The letter goes to say that the family should "take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science" and "do everyone in our community a huge favor and MOVE!!!!"
The letter concludes: "Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!"
The Durham Regional Police, in Ontario, said in a statement today that "despite the hateful language used," prosecutors have "advised that the content of the letter falls below the threshold for a hate crime."
Other charges against the sender, who has not been named, are possible, and police are continuing to investigate.
Max was diagnosed with autism when he was 20 months old, according to the Star.
His mother, Karla Begley, told the newspaper that, "It makes me sick to my stomach to think that somebody hated my son that much and they didn't even know him. But they just hated him because he was different."
Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.