Decades-Old Mystery Solved: Arrest Made in 1990 Stone Mountain Double Murder

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After more than three decades, the brutal 1990 double murder in a Stone Mountain apartment has been cracked wide open with the arrest of Kenneth Perry, a 55-year-old Loganville man, accused of committing the heinous acts.

On a hot July day in 1990, officers from the DeKalb County Police Department responded to a horrifying scene at an apartment complex on Tree Hills Parkway.

Pamela Sumpter was found severely injured at a neighbor’s apartment, claiming she had been raped and stabbed. Her brother, John Sumpter, was discovered dead in their shared apartment next door, also a victim of a violent stabbing.

Despite initial leads and a detailed description provided by Pamela before her death from her wounds weeks later, the case went cold. It remained a haunting mystery until a recent breakthrough involving DNA technology and persistent investigative work.

The Breakthrough

In a dramatic turn of events, Perry was indicted on Tuesday by a DeKalb County Grand Jury on multiple charges, including two counts of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Rape, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, and related offenses. This indictment follows a meticulous investigation spearheaded by the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Cold Case team, using a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA” program.

The cold case team’s efforts bore fruit when they collaborated with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Othram, a Texas-based private lab specializing in forensic genetic genealogy. The DNA evidence from Pamela Sumpter’s rape kit, initially tested by BODE Technology and uploaded into Georgia’s DNA database, found no match at the state level. However, when it was entered into the national database, it linked to an unprosecuted 1992 sexual assault case in Detroit.

The suspect in that Detroit case was identified as Kenneth Perry, prompting the cold case team to dig deeper. Their investigation revealed that Perry, now residing in Loganville, had the same birthdate and name as the suspect in the 1992 case. Forensic genealogical analysis further strengthened the link, leading to Perry’s arrest on June 6, by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Unit.

Timeline of Events

July 15, 1990: Police respond to a stabbing at an apartment on Tree Hills Parkway, finding Pamela Sumpter raped and stabbed, and her brother John dead from stab wounds. DNA is collected from Pamela’s rape kit.

August 5, 1990: Pamela Sumpter dies from her injuries, and the case goes cold.

November 2022: DNA samples from Pamela’s rape kit are reanalyzed under an initiative to test pre-1999 rape kits.

February 2023: A male DNA profile is identified and uploaded into Georgia’s DNA database with no match found.

Spring 2023: The Sumpter case is chosen for federal grant funding due to the presence of unknown DNA.

October 2023: The DA’s Office receives a federal grant for prosecuting cold cases using DNA.

February 2024: The DNA profile is uploaded nationally, matching a 1992 Detroit sexual assault case.

March 2024: Detroit case files link Kenneth Perry to both the Detroit assault and the DeKalb murders.

April 2024: Genetic genealogy points to Perry, prompting a request for a direct DNA sample.

June 6, 2024: Perry is arrested in Gwinnett County, and his DNA is collected.

June 20, 2024: The GBI confirms the DNA match to Pamela Sumpter’s rape kit.

Call for Information

Anyone with additional information about Kenneth Perry or the Sumpter murders is urged to contact the District Attorney’s Cold Case Tip Line at 404-371-2444.


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