Forsyth County

GBI to reopen investigation into 2018 death of Tamla Horsford

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation plans to reopen the investigation into the death of a Forsyth County mother of 5.

Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik first reported last year on the suspicious death of Tamla Horsford in November 2018.

Horsford was found dead after an “adult slumber party” at a North Forsyth County home, and investigators concluded she accidentally fell off a deck to her death. But her friends and family have always disputed the results.


Over the weekend, family attorney Ralph Fernandez sent the Horsford family a letter in which he concluded there was a “strong possibility” Horsford’s death was the result of homicide.

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

“Witness statements are in conflict. A potential subject handled the body as well as the evidence prior to law enforcement arriving. Evidence was disposed of and no inquiry followed. The scene was not preserved,” Fernandez wrote in the letter. “A remarkable fact is that there were no photographs taken during the autopsy of Tamla’s body. This had to have been done at someone’s directive because such a practice is unheard of.”

[RELATED WEBSITE: Justice for Tamla Horsford]

On Friday, Petchenik obtained a letter Freeman wrote to GBI Director Vic Reynolds. The letter states, “renewed requests for reexamination are best served by an independent law enforcement agency to review previous findings and to search and act on any new evidence which may come to light.”

Freeman told Reynolds the sheriff’s office would assist in any way possible, and GBI agents will have “complete access” to the case file, office and deputies as well as Freeman’s “full cooperation.”

The GBI said they will open an investigation based on Freeman’s request.

“It’s great news to hear that what we’ve been asking for this entire time is actually happening,” said Ashley Harris, who started the petition.

Since it was started, the petition also received endorsement from big names such as T.I. and 50 Cent.

Harris never met Horsford but said she felt for the family.

“We want an honest, fair and thorough investigation,” Harris said. “I’m just ecstatic. I feel the Horsford family has been denied justice for a very long time and I feel like this is a window to them finally getting justice.”

Horsford’s family said they are still digesting the major development.

Petchenik reached out to the attorney representing the party-goers in a civil defamation case against one of Horsford’s best friend to see if he had any comment but has not heard back.

Read the family attorney’s full letter to the GBI and Sheriff Freeman below: