GBI reopens investigation into suspicious death of Tamla Horsford at sleepover – Boston 25 News

FORSYTH COUNTY, Georgia – Protests and petitions amid a resurgent movement for law enforcement to reconsider what some are calling injustices have led the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to reopen an investigation into the death of a mother of five children.

WSB-TV first reported Tamla Horsford’s suspicious death in November 2018.

Horsford was found dead after an “adult sleepover” with several other mothers in the area. Investigators concluded that she accidentally fell from the balcony of a house while intoxicated, which killed her. But his friends and family have always disputed the results.

Horsford was found dead in the yard of a house in Forsyth County, Ga., Around 9 a.m. on November 4, 2018. The coroner’s death certificate listed Horsford’s death as an accident. The report states that a fall from a bridge caused multiple blunt force injuries and “acute ethanol poisoning” was a contributing factor.

Horsford’s family hired another medical examiner who found extensive wounds all over his body.

“It’s impossible to get injured from a fall,” Horsford’s best friend Michelle Graves told WSB-TV in a meeting Last year.

Graves said she thought there was “something wrong with the story and the way [Horsford] lost his life. “

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office announced last February that it was closing the case because investigators had found no evidence of foul play in Horsford’s death.

Since, a petition to reopen the investigation has collected more than 500,000 signatures.

In a letter to the Horsford family, shared by WSB-TV, lawyer Ralph Fernandez said his office had carried out a comprehensive review of the case and believed Horsford had been killed.

“It looks like Tamla was involved in a fight. There were abrasions consistent with this scenario. There were parallel scratches on one arm. As they were fresh, the photos would not have proven recent use of defensive force, ”the letter said. “There was an x-ray, but the injury listed as the cause of death does not appear anywhere.”

The party took place at the home of a woman whose boyfriend, Jose Barrera, is believed to have found Horsford dead, face down. Barrera called the police to report his death.

Barrera, who worked for the local courts, was fired for accessing documents related to the case, WSB-TV reported.

“The witness statements are contradictory. A potential subject manipulated the body as well as the evidence before law enforcement arrived. The evidence was eliminated and no investigation followed, ”Fernandez wrote. “The scene has not been preserved. A remarkable fact is that no photographs were taken during the autopsy of Tamla’s body. It must have been done by order of someone because such a practice is unheard of.

Forsyth County, one of Georgia’s 10 most populous counties, is an area known for his tense racial history. In 1912, the county chiefs forced all its black residents out of the area. Writer Patrick Phillips, who moved to Forsyth County as a child in the late 1970s, said he noticed Ku Klux Klan gatherings in the area. Members in robes were seen there as recently as the 90s. In 1987, amid civil rights protests, Oprah Winfrey hosted a program highlighting the county’s racial conflict. The county made headlines again in October 2016 when an elementary school staff member called Michelle Obama a “gorilla” on Facebook.

WSB-TV obtained a letter from Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman to GBI director Vic Reynolds on Friday. The letter says that “renewed requests for reconsideration are best served by an independent law enforcement agency to review previous findings and to seek and act on any new evidence that may come to light.”

Freeman told Reynolds that the sheriff’s office will help in any way it can, and GBI agents will have “full access” to the file, office and deputies as well as Freeman’s “full cooperation”.

The GBI said it would open an investigation based on Freeman’s request.

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