Suspect identified in 1990 cold case rape and fatal stabbing of woman and her brother

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun29,2024

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (TCN) — Officials recently identified and arrested a suspect who allegedly raped a woman and fatally stabbed her and her brother in 1990.

According to the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, on July 15, 1990, DeKalb County Police responded to an apartment complex in reference to a possible stabbing, where they found Pamela Sumpter at a neighbor’s apartment. She told officers she had been raped and stabbed and that her brother, John Sumpter, had also been stabbed.

Police found John Sumpter deceased in the apartment he and his sister shared, genetic genealogy company Othram Inc. said in a news release. Pamela Sumpter was transported to a hospital, and medical staff used a rape kit to collect DNA from the suspect. While in the hospital, she reportedly said that her brother brought over a new acquaintance from Detroit, but she didn’t know much about him.

Claire Chaffins, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigators believe John Sumpter was showing Kenneth Perry around the area since he had recently moved there from Michigan. Pamela Sumpter was likely awake when her brother and Perry returned, and that was reportedly the last time she saw him alive.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pamela Sumpter told authorities after she was assaulted and stabbed, she saw her brother on the apartment floor and rushed to the neighbor’s unit to call law enforcement.

Pamela Sumpter eventually died from her injuries in the hospital on Aug. 5, 1990. Despite the investigation, the case went cold.

More than three decades later, in November 2022, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) submitted DNA evidence from the rape kit to a private lab, and investigators developed a DNA profile of a male suspect. According to the district attorney’s office, there was no match in Georgia’s statewide DNA database.

In February, the district attorney’s office, with assistance from the GBI, performed a nationwide search and found a possible match from a 1992 sexual assault case out of Detroit that hadn’t been prosecuted. The district attorney’s office also worked with Othram in the hope of identifying a suspect.

Othram developed new investigative leads and compared it to the 1992 sexual assault case. As a result, investigators identified 55-year-old Perry as a possible suspect.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office took Perry into custody on June 6. Officials collected a DNA sample and learned it matched the DNA from the 1990 rape kit.

A jury indicted Perry on Tuesday, June 25, on two counts of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, rape, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, and theft by taking. Perry remains held in the DeKalb County Jail without bond.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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