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Tamla Horsford family attorney: ‘There’s too many inconsistencies’

The attorney for her family said the results of the autopsy are just the first step in a long journey for the family.

ATLANTA — After months, people in the community of Forsyth County appear to finally have an answer about a Cumming mother’s death.

Tamla Hosford became the center of a viral social media controversy after she died last November at an overnight house party surrounded by other adults.

On Wednesday, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said its investigation into her death has closed, after 300 hours of manpower and 30 interviews with party guests and others who had a connection to the party.

Police said that Horsford’s body was found, fully clothed, in the backyard of a home on Woodlet Court in Cumming on Nov. 4, 2018. Law enforcement said the first 911 call regarding an unresponsive person at the home was made at 8:59 a.m. that morning, after a full night of partying at the home.

Police said Horsford’s death was caused by an accidental fall from a deck at the home.

Her death led to many questions on social media, with people calling for a deeper look into the investigation with the hashtag #TamlaHorsford.

READ: Accusations fly about mother's death at overnight party

The attorney for her family, Ralph Hernandez, was very clear. He is saying there are too many inconsistencies.

"I'm not suggesting anything nefarious. I'm saying there's a tone for some of the concerns," Hernandez said. "The fact that there was an investigation into someone who accessed personal information who was very close to law enforcement."

Hernandez is referencing the fact that one partygoer, Jose Barrerra, ended up losing his job in the wake of Horsford’s death. Barrera was a Forsyth County Superior Court employee who worked as a pre-trial release services officer.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Barrera accessed police files about Horsford’s death, which was a red flag to police.

MORE: Case closed in death of Cumming mom at overnight house party

The attorney discussed what he considered other inconsistencies in a phone interview with 11Alive's Hope Ford.

"The fact that the homeowner put up and posted the fall was not from the deck at the time she had spoken with law enforcement," Hernandez said in a phone interview. 

Hernandez added the injuries from the fall don't seem to match the injuries of blunt force trauma listed in the medical examiner's report.

11Alive obtained Horsford's toxicology report. It showed that she had the anti-anxiety drug Xanex in her system, along with marijuana. Her blood-alcohol level was .238, nearly three times the legal limit of .08 percent.  

He added he is waiting to review the evidence himself and meet with the sheriff before making any statements as to whether or not the family will ask for any further investigation.

"I think it's critical here for no one to jump the gun, so to speak, and no one to pass judgement and let us do our work," Hernandez urged. "But, beginning this work, it does not appear that it is as clean cut."

"I can tell you as for the family, this is the first step in a long journey," he added.

As for the 911 call made after the body was discovered, Hernandez said one statement claims the call was made immediately, while another statement claimed the call was made up to an hour and a half later. Police said there was a time lapse from when she was found and when the calls were made. 

LISTEN: 911 audio released by authorities following Forsyth County mom's backyard death

Hernandez added the fact that the case was closed does not mean law enforcement will not reopen a case if new evidence is found. He plans to request to visit the sheriff soon to go over the case. 

In response to accusation and alleged threats posted against the party hosts online, an attorney representing the homeowners stated that everyone at the party was cooperative with police.

“At this time, each of the partygoers and their families have received death threats on various social media postings. The threats need to stop," a statement read. "This tragic accident is exactly that, an accident. It is unfortunate, sad, and unbelievably heartbreaking to her family and friends."

"However, certain very vocal friends and family members of Mrs. Horsford have been describing this accident as a 'murder.' Nothing can be farther from the truth."

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