A mother of five died from her injuries when she fell from the deck of a home where she was attending a party, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. Tamla Horsford’s death has been ruled accidental, Major Joe Perkins said.
Horsford, 40, died Nov. 4 while attending an overnight party at a Cumming home, according to investigators. She was found unresponsive in the backyard and appeared to have fallen from the home’s deck.
An autopsy determined Horsford broke her wrist and had head and torso trauma, and blood testing determined she was highly intoxicated, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Though others at the party were interviewed, no one saw Horsford fall.
“She was on the deck alone,” Perkins said Wednesday. “It was a party. They were drinking and planning on staying all night.”
Family members and friends questioned whether Horsford could have died from the fall. The family hired another medical examiner who found extensive injuries all over her body, her friend, Michelle Graves, told Channel 2 Action News.
"It's impossible to get the injuries that she had from one fall," Graves said.
Although the initial investigation ruled Horsford’s death an accident, the Sheriff’s Office interviewed some 30 people during its investigation. Toxicology testing, performed by the GBI Crime Lab, was released this week, and the Sheriff’s Office has closed its investigation.
“No evidence or injury patterns indicative of an assault or foul play were noted by Forsyth County Sheriff’s detectives or the Forsyth County Coroner’s Office or GBI Medical Examiner’s reports,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
News of Horsford’s death spread quickly on social media in recent days. But it was the firing of a county employee — the man who called 911 to report Horsford was unresponsive — that brought attention to the woman’s death more than three months later. The action did not result in any charges.
“It brought a cloud over this investigation,” Perkins said. “It was unnecessary. It violated our trust.”