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Episode 58

What Happened to Tamla Horsford?

July 13, 2020   Tags: ,
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This week Paul and Billy look into the mysterious death of Tamla Horsford. Tamla Horsford was the only black guest at the adult slumber party in Cumming, Georgia. She knew the birthday woman because their sons played football together. By all accounts she was the life of the party. But in the early morning hours she was found dead outside. 
Tamla Horsford:
On the night of November 3rd, 2018, Jeanne Meyers had friends over to celebrate her 46th birthday. Her friend Stacey had planned the party. Jeanne wanted to have a pajama party with a group of friends and stay in to watch the LSU and Alabama football game. 

Starting around 4 PM, guests began to arrive. The first friend to arrive was Nicole because she was decorating the house. The rest were set to arrive around 7 or later, with kick off being at 8 PM.

According to witness statements, all of the women brought different alcohol for the birthday girl. When Tamla arrived at 8:30, she had brought tequila from Mexico. One guest remembers seeing her break the customs seal on the bottle when she opened. She encouraged the other women to try it because it was the good stuff, but they all declined. One saying the smell made her gag. 

All of the party goers said everyone was in good spirits through the night. Jose commented that there were no “sad” or “angry” drunks. Tamla was called the “life of the party” according to multiple people. Although when police asked Jeanne if everyone was happy, she said “no. LSU lost.”

Around 1 AM most of the slumber party had died down and people began going to bed. Tamla wasn’t ready to settle down. A mother of five,  she wanted to enjoy her night out. Another party goer stayed a little while later but left at 1:47 AM according to the security system on the front door.

Just a few minutes after that the backdoor is opened at 1:49 AM. This is the door Tamla used to go to the balcony to smoke throughout the evening. At 1:50 it was closed. Then at 1:57 AM it opens again and never registers closing.

Jeanne’s aunt, who was sleeping on the basement level, woke up at 8:30 AM. According to her statement she was about to make herself a pot of coffee in her room, when she saw Tamla outside. The aunt said she knelt down to pray and looked outside and saw the dalmatian pajama onesie Tamla was wearing again and knew it wasn’t a dream.  She didn’t open the door, yell out. Instead she went upstairs to get her niece.

Jose and Jeanne got dressed and came downstairs with Jeanne’s aunt and called 911. According to both Jeanne and Jose’s statements, when they discovered Tamla’s body, her arms were by her side. But based on police reports later, Tamla’s right arm was to this side. However, Jeanne described finding the body at that first moment:

“Both arms were down by her side and that’s why, I know it’s those other two women that are saying it because they said they spoke to the detectives and her arm was up here in a position to brace itself. It was not because that image is burned in my head because the best way I could phrase it it almost looked like she face planted because I’m like I’d never imagined someone landing with like her toes almost pointed. And her hands perfectly by her side, like and all my stuff is based on Law and Order and CSI. So it’s not a good reference point but I was just shocked at how she was lying.”

When police arrive on scene, they ask all party goers to return to the house. They take measurements of the balcony. From the balcony to the ground they measure 14 feet 10 and half inches. When they factored in the railing it added another three feet and one inch. So the fall would have been from 17 feet 11 inches.

Law enforcement also noted that Tamla’s right hand was at 10 o’clock or a 40 degree angle. A detail that contradicts the statements of Jose and Jeanne’s.

Police interviewed all ten witnesses present throughout the night. They all said Tamla was happy and the life of the party. And other than LSU’s loss to Alabama everyone was in good spirits, no arguments or conflicts. Forsyth County Sheriff’s sent Tamla’s body to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. 

By the time the autopsy report was sent to the sheriffs, it seemed the story of Tamla falling from the balcony was the most likely scenario. The autopsy report states that Tamla had severe injuries of the head, neck and torso. It noted superficial abrasion on her forehead, above her left eye, the bridge of her nose, her right temple and chin. She had a fractured vertebrae, her right wrist was dislocated and a laceration was present on her heart. The toxicology report showed a blood alcohol level of .24 and traces of THC and Xanax in her system.

An independent autopsy has been done at the family's request. The results have not been released because they are awaiting photos from the original autopsy. To hear more about this report, please listen to the episode.  

ASSIGNMENT:
In February 2019, the case was listed as "closed." But public outcry demanded more investigation. With the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, Tamla's case went viral. In June 2020, the GBI announced they were reopening the case. 

The family and their attorney Ralph E. Fernandez would like a different agency to do so. There is a petition to do so. 

If you have any information about Tamla's case, please contact us.   

CODE OF CONDUCT: 

1. Do not name names publicly. Send everything to the police or to this page and we will forward to the police. 
2. Do not post side by side photos.
3. Do not contact any family members. 
4. Do not doxx each other and be civil. We all want the same thing. 

As tips come in, Jensen and Holes will work to verify them. If they look good, we will publish them here to try and get us closer to their names.

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