National Outrage Local Silence, The Tamla Horsford story
Tamla took being a mom with great pride, always doting over her boys. Had there been a manual on raising kids, keeping calm and being organized. She wrote it. There are three things about Tamla. She loved her family; she loved life, and she loved you. To know Tam as people often called her, was to know what pure joy and happiness looked like. How did such a beautiful woman with so much life to live and so much to offer the world end up murdered?
My baby loved to have fun, she loved to dance. She loved life. Lee Horsford, Husband of Tamla
National outrage local silence. This is the story of Tamla Horsford.
When Lee met Tamla, he met his best friend. And, when Lee wanted to move his business from Florida to Cumming, Georgia. Tamla was game. An adventure, new scenery, new memories and better educational opportunities for her boys.
Tamla first met Michelle, her new neighbor after moving into her new home in Cumming, Georgia. Well, their kids met and then the adults met soon after.
Tamla’s boys were all boy. Involved in everything from sports to after-school activities. Being a “boy mom” was never easy, but she loved every moment. Including football.
Thanks to social media Tam could keep in touch with all of her friends and family. Constantly posting pictures of the family, particularly the boys and her friends.
Tam didn’t spend many nights away from her boys, but whenever she did, she called frequently and was sure pack snacks after cooking dinner.
That night Saturday, November 3rd was an exception. She and a few others “Football” moms would celebrate two things, Jeanne Meyers turning 45 and surviving another season of football.
As Tam was fixing dinner for the boys, Michelle dropped by. They chatted about the boys and did what woman do, gossip. Tam told Michelle her plans for the night and invited Michelle to tag along, she declined. Those weren’t really her people. Not skipping a beat they continued to talk and laugh like they have known each other their entire lives, but in fact, they have only known each other for 5 years.
She was late, fashionably late.
The boys came first, and she made sure she knew that they situated before leaving. In true BYOB style, Tam brought an imported tequila. Tam was from the Caribbean she liked nicer drinks. Not the wine coolers the desperate housewives were sipping.
The social butterfly. Tam never met a stranger though she wasn’t familiar with everyone present that night she extended a hug and flash a smile to everyone. She played card games, took two or three shots and face-timed her family to check on the boys and to show off her beautiful babies. Because before anything she was a mother.
She wanted to leave.
Something that night made Tam feel uneasy, and she wanted to leave. But they would not allow her. Though they do not mention it in the multiple police reports gathered that night, someone took her keys and her phone from her. Something that night happened to this mother.
A faint knock on the door awakened that morning at 8:45 Jeanne Meyers, the homeowner of the house that was hosting the party. She and her boy toy Jose Barrera lay quiet in the bed, and the faint knocking happened again. Jeanne then summonsed the knocker to come in.
Madeline Lombardi, Jeanne Meyers’s aunt who lived in her basement was at the door. She needed to talk to Jose. Tells Jeanne that something is wrong with one of her friends. And she tells Jose to come to look.
Madeline didn’t call the police, instead, she called Jose. Madeline didn‘t try to help Tam, instead, she called Jose.
According to Jose Barrera, he threw on some shorts and ran down the stairs and yelled to Jeanne his much older girlfriend to bring her phone. Jose’s career background is in probation/law enforcement. He’s trained to study body language, perform CPR and to be quick on his feet.
Instead of trying to feel for a pulse or even rolling Tam over, he bent her leg instead. Why? What training did Forsyth and Hall county provide that bending a person’s leg who is not responsive seemed like the best thing to do.
On Sunday, November 4th, 2018 it was cold outside, its Georgia.
Tam lay facedown in Jeanne Meyers’s backyard while she and Madeline Lombardo watched Jose Barrera attempt to bend her leg. A hung-over Jennifer Morrell came out a few moments later. Watching. They all watched while a mother like themselves lay face down. No one attempted to give Tam medical attention, no one. Jose Barrera instead paced around her body, poking at her as he replayed the events from the previous night. Almost ignoring the dispatcher’s questions,
“Can you tell if she is breathing”
They dispatched the police, crime scene, and to the home of Jeanne Meyers. Not an EMT or any medical provider. No one attempted to help Tamla Horsford, the mother of five boys. She laid face down until the coroner collected her. And took her to the GBI headquarters.
They found her “face planted” as described by Jeanne Meyers. She wasn’t wearing shoes or a jacket. And she didn’t have her cellphone. This was unlike Tamla, She would have never separated herself from her boys, and having her phone would have provided her communication with them, had an emergency arose. It was cold, and she only had on her pajamas, no shoes no jacket. Also unlike Tamla, Let me explain.
Tamla was from the Caribbean.
She enjoyed warm weather and a good time. One of her friends even noted she always wore a jacket indoors,
“Tam was cold nature, we used to tease her a lot about always wearing a jacket”
I’ve mentioned multiple times that Tamla Horsford was a mother. Because before anything else that is what she was. She didn’t arrive to the party on time because the boys came first. She and her husband Lee did everything possible for the boys, any move or decision always came with the boys in mind.
If it ain’t right, it ain’t right.
Michelle Wynn Graves is that ride or die friend that everyone needs.
Nothing about the statements given to police or even the explanation given by police made sense. And she told them. Since the mysterious and suspicious death of her friend, Michelle Wynn Graves has been vocal about trying to understand what happened that night. Even with Jeanne Meyers and the Forsyth 12 trying to silence her.
Abuse of process and intimidation are crimes, so is filing a false police report. Jeanne Meyers filed a frivolous and fictitious police report against Michelle. She then attempted to get a stalking order taken out against her. Because what Jeanne Meyers was saying made little sense, so Michelle became very outspoken in her quest for the truth.
I wouldn’t be writing this article if it were not for Jose Barrera.
Because a healthy black mother that ended up dead under very suspicious circumstances is not at all suspicious. Nor is it newsworthy. But when a court employee who was a witness of death is under investigation. Barrera misused his work credentials to look up information on a case and gets fired, is newsworthy. And with that, it flicked a tiny spark with me and the rest of the world got to know Tamla Horsford.
Aside from her family and friends, no one local to the case made any effort in solving it. They even interviewed witnesses an entire 3 weeks after the fact. And Jeanne Meyers even interrupted Madeline Lombardo’s interview to give the detectives Dunkin Donut’s gift cards. Like even she realized that this isn’t the sharpest group of cops she’s dealing with or they were cheap. Cheap and dumb, and she could sway them with donuts.
Jose Barrera had connections inside Forsyth County sheriff’s office.
Prior to being rendered unemployed for his policy violations. He has ties and connections with multiple LEO’s in Forsyth County and the court. Not a single investigator said, or thought it was a good idea to have an outside agency to investigate this? No. The world-class and sophisticated detectives that makeup Forsyth county’s criminal investigation unit did not. Investigator Michael Edwards Christian initially thought Tamla, tripped over a small object in the yard, ground level and had a medical emergency and died.
The investigation was half ass.
They left evidence at the scene. Responding officers drove Tamla’s car to her home. The investigation into her death stood still until Sandra Rose posted about the case on her blog, and others online took notice of the case. Within a week, the sheriff’s office wrote a statement. The following week they held a press conference announcing the case had been closed, and her death deemed accidental.
Unacceptable. From the case was incompetently and grossly mishandled. Ron Freeman the sheriff of Forsyth county claims Forsyth is a former shell of its racist past. And now a progressive county. That was a lie. Forsyth is still as racist as they were 30 years ago that they are today. Prosecutors are still over prosecuting people of color who are being accused of crimes and under prosecuting crimes when they are the victim.
I could have been Tamla Horsford, my mom, sisters, aunts, friends even cousins. You could have been Tamla Horsford.
Tamla Horsford was a mother, a wife, a sister a daughter and friend. She laid face down and not a signal person from the homeowner, her alcoholic friends, the passive aunt, her boy toy boyfriend nor any of the responding officers attempted to help Tamla.
Both Jose and Jeanne spoke as if they already knew she was dead before attempting to help her. Tamla Horsford laid face down for hours and no one helped her. These actions within itself are criminal. Tamla Horsford deserved better, her boys and family deserve more. Demand justice for Tamla Horsford.