Tamla Horsford’s family is speaking out after months after renewed interest in her death lead to the reopening of the case.
The 40-year-old died in November 2018, while attending a sleepover party at a friend’s house in the Atlanta suburb of Cumming, Georgia. Her death was ruled accidental, resulting from a two-story fall from a balcony. In June, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced it would honor a request from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to review the case.
The reopening came after racial unrest in the country over the deaths of Black people at the hands of whites drew new attention to Horsford’s death. A petition created to spread awareness of Horsford’s case received more than 680,000 signatures. The case also received attention from celebrities like Kim Kardashian and 50 Cent.
Summer St. Jour Jones, Horsford’s sister, calls out the way her sister’s case had to be attached to another story to gain recognition.
“It’s unfortunate that it has to take other people’s heartbreak and other people’s loss for the proper attention to be given this case involving my sister,” St. Jour Jones said during an interview with CNN.
“It’s just hard for me to talk about her,” admitted Elizabeth Potts, Horsford’s mother.
A police report from the sheriff’s office stated a deputy responded to a 911 call about a deceased person around 9 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2018. The deputy found Horsford lying face down in the backyard of a residence. Jeanne Meyers, the homeowner, told the investigator she hosted an overnight party and everyone had been “drinking heavily” the night before. Meyers claimed Horsford went out to the balcony for a cigarette around 2 a.m. and never came back in. Her body was discovered a few hours later.
An autopsy later determined Horsford’s blood alcohol level was .23, almost three times the driving limit in Georgia. Trace amounts of marijuana and an anxiety medication were also detected. St. Jour Jones disputes this assessment.
“Never, ever, ever have I seen my sister sloppy drunk and incoherent. So, I doubt that she would pick a sleepover with people she was just getting to know to start behaving that way,” St. Jour Jones said.
Ralph Fernandez, a lawyer representing Horsford’s family, highlighted other inconsistences.
“The placement of the body, the multitude of injuries, what I would consider to be defensive injuries. The inexplicable post-mortem bleeding,” Fernandez said.
“There were numerous inconsistencies in a series of statements,” he added. “The disposal of evidence, the relationships between the parties.”
On Tuesday, the GBI told 11Alive News the investigation “remains active and ongoing.”