By Sandra Rose  | 

Tamla Horsford

New developments in the Tamla Horsford cold case prompted the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office to ask the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to reopen the case.

New evidence suggests Horsford fought for her life before she was thrown off a balcony following an "adult slumber party" in Forsyth County, GA.

Tamla Horsford

Horsford, a 40-year-old mother-of-5, was found dead in the backyard of a home in North Forsyth County on Nov. 4, 2018.

Her neck was broken and her heart was lacerated, causing her to bleed out in the backyard.

The medical examiner and Georgia Bureau of Investigation ruled the cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma from "an accidental fall" from a 2nd floor residential deck, and the case was closed in 2019.

In a letter to Horsford's widow, Leander, attorney Ralph E. Fernandez said he recently "finished the exhaustive review of the records related to the investigation."

"The review reflects that a homicide is a strong possibility." He went on to say "Witness statements are in conflict" and "A potential subject handled the body as well as the evidence prior to the law enforcement arrival."

He added: "A remarkable fact is that there were no photographs taken during the autopsy of Tamla's body This had been done at someone's directive because such a practice is unheard of."

In a letter to GBI Director Vic Reynolds, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman asked the GBI to "assume and open" an investigation into the "tragic death of Tamla Horsford."

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The autopsy report and other documents pertaining to Horsford's death were released to the public by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office in 2019 after the case was closed.

The detailed autopsy report, published by, describe a fractured cervical vertebra in her neck, bleeding on the brain, and multiple lacerations and abrasions to her face, head, neck, torso and extremities. Her right wrist was dislocated and a 1-inch laceration was observed on her wrist.

The report also described a "3/4 inch linear laceration to the right ventricle" of her heart, meaning a tear in the wall of her heart. That injury alone would have been fatal.

The GBI toxicology report shows Horsford had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit and she had THC (marijuana) and Xanax in her system. But her family said she did not smoke marijuana nor was she prescribed Xanax by a doctor.