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Family wants answers about Black mom found dead at adult sleepover

Family wants answers about Black mom found dead at adult sleepover
Tamla Horsford (Image source: GofundMe – Justice for Tamla Horsford)

As the 2018 football season was underway, Tamla Horsford, 40, a mother of five children, went to an all-adult sleepover to watch the game and party. She was joined by other “football moms” at the sleepover, which included seven White women and three men at a home in Forsyth County, Georgia. The next morning, Horsford was found dead in the backyard and now her case is receiving new scrutiny after Black Twitter spawned #TamlaHorsford and is asking federal law enforcement officials to get involved.

According to the BallerAlert website, Sandrarose blog and other published reports, Horsford was found face down in the backyard by the homeowner’s aunt at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2018, but police were not called to the scene until 9:30 a.m. It was initially reported that Horsford suffered injuries to her head and face. One witness, identified as Michelle Wynne Graves, told local news outlet WSB-TV that when she questioned how her friend died that night, other party members threatened her and even had her arrested.

According to Graves, it was said that Horsford was suffering from alcohol poisoning and fell from the back deck of the home. The reason Graves was arrested was not released. Rolling out contacted the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office but has not received a response.

The case becomes even stranger when another person at the party, Jose Barrera, a former probation officer for Forsyth County Court, lost his job because of improper use of the county database.

Barrera is the boyfriend of the woman who owned the house where Horsford’s body was found and is also considered a witness in the investigation into Horsford’s death. Graves accused Barrera of using the county database to release her personal information. The accusation was confirmed by Major Joe Perkins, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, who told the Forsyth County News that Barrera viewed a stalking complaint, which allegedly involved his girlfriend, and the report on Horsford ‘s death, in which Barrera is listed as a witness. He was fired from his job on Dec. 20, 2018, after an investigation.

Now, four months after the death of Tamla Horsford, the family has stated that they have not received a complete autopsy report. The homeowner has hired the law firm of Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP to handle the negative publicity caused by Horsford’s death and to fight accusations that she was murdered.

The following statement was issued by the law firm and reads, in part:

“According to the coroner, the official cause of death was determined to have been caused by an accidental fall from a residential deck. In addition, the death certificate also states that acute ethanol intoxication was a significant condition contributing to Mrs. Horsford’s death.”

Horsford’s family has started a “Justice For Tamla Horsford” GoFundMe campaign and has raised $2,980 of their $25,000 goal. At this time, no completed official autopsy report has been released by the medical examiner.

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