Disturbing Details Found In Tamla Horsford's Autopsy Report

The case of Tamla Horsford's tragic death was much more complex than it initially seemed. As a 40-year-old mother of five, Horsford's death at a sleepover party was unexpected, reports Rolling Stone. As internet sleuths began to examine the case in detail, the outcry around Horsford's death grew louder.

According to Forsyth County News, with such a public demand for answers, combined with pressure from Horsford's friends and family, the case was reopened two years after her death. Her autopsy report sheds light on the events that took place the night of her death.

More than 700,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding the FBI get involved with the case due to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office's apparent conflicts of interest in the investigation. Details about the case spread far and wide, and even celebrities like T.I., Kim Kardashian, and 50 Cent have shared social media posts about Horsford, according to Rolling Stone. What happened to Tamla Horsford — and what new evidence did her autopsy reveal? 

A sleepover birthday party

According to the Forsyth County Incident/Investigation Report, Jeanne Meyers hosted a sleepover birthday party at her home in Forsyth, Georgia, inviting a few friends. Guests arrived around 7 p.m., and Tamla Horsford showed up at 8 p.m. with a bottle of tequila. While the women drank tequila, Mountain Dew, and Fireball together, the men watched football in the basement. Horsford smoked cigarettes and marijuana on the back porch throughout the night. 

 Around midnight, the group gathered to play Cards Against Humanity until 1 a.m. (via the Forsyth County Incident/Investigation Report). Then, the partygoers started to clean up and prepare to go to bed, but Horsford was still chatting with her friends, and didn't want the night to end. The others either stayed the night or went home in the early hours of the morning, while Horsford remained in Meyers's living room. 

Rolling Stone reports that one of the partygoers who prepared to leave the party around 1:47 a.m. saw Horsford eating a bowl of gumbo. Horsford told the woman that she was going to smoke a cigarette, and then call it a night.

Did she fall -- or was she attacked?

It appears that Horsford went outside around 1:49 a.m, went back inside, then went back outside again eight minutes later, per the Forsyth County Incident/Investigation Report. This time, she left the door open. 

Her body was discovered the next morning around 8:45 a.m. by the birthday host's aunt, Madeline Lombardi (via Rolling Stone). Lombardi and the host, Jeanne Meyers, ran outside to the body and called 911, describing Horsford to the police as unmoving, stiff, and not breathing. Meyers told police she suspected Horsford fell off the balcony while drinking.

But who or what killed Tamla Horsford wasn't immediately clear. Horsford was wearing her pajamas when she had seemingly fallen from the porch to the ground. Since her death seemed accidental, police didn't bother to preserve the crime scene or take fingerprints from the scene, nor did they immediately interview the people at the party. Since Horsford was the only Black woman at a party attended mainly by white people, people began to question if there were other motives behind her death. Her family had plenty of questions: were her injuries from a fall, or was she trying to stave off an attacker?

Horsford's autopsy results

According to the Forsyth County Incident/Investigation Report, police were called to the scene around 9 a.m. on November 4, 2018, the day after the party. Police said that they spoke with all the partygoers, and interviewed 30 people in total, as 11 Alive reported.

Horsford's autopsy report describes Horsford's serious injuries to her neck, torso, and head, per Forsyth County News. Horsford sustained injuries on her legs, face, wrist, and hand. Her heart had a laceration in one ventricle. 

The toxicology report revealed the presence of Xanax, alcohol, and THC in her system, although the anti-anxiety medication levels were very low. By the time of her death, Horsford had a blood-alcohol level that was three times higher than the legal driving limit (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations wrote in their February 2019 autopsy report that Horsford's right wrist was dislocated and scraped up. Her left shin was bruised, while her right shin was lacerated, and she had tiny abrasions on two of her fingers. There was a fracture on one of Horsford's cervical vertebrates (upper spine), but it was not severe enough to have damaged her brain stem. She had small scrapes on her forehead, nose, and left eyelid. 

All of the injuries appeared to be caused by Horsford's fall. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force injuries resulting in an accidental death. She is believed to have died on impact from the accidental 14-foot fall off the back porch.

Unanswered questions

Rolling Stone reports that there were no sexual assault kits or fingernail clippings utilized during the autopsy and the autopsy report appeared to show nothing abnormal that would suggest Horsford was sexually assaulted or attacked. In the report, there are mentions of photos taken for scale of Horsfords' wounds, per the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, but Rolling Stone reported that those photos have never been made available to an attorney representing Horsford's family. 

In February 2019, controversy ignited when Jose Barrera, Meyer's boyfriend and a party attendee, was fired from his job as a pre-trial officer for trying to access database information about the Horsford case, reports Rolling Stone. 

In June 2019, the case was reopened. Horsford's family, including her husband and five sons, have been trying to get an independent investigation into the case. A lawyer for the Horsford family still believed that the death could be a homicide. 11Alive spoke with the Horsford family, who said they are not ready to talk publicly about the case yet.