DNA Evidence Helps Authorities Solve a 30-Year-Old Murder of Two Siblings.You Won’t Believe This

L-R: Pamela Sumpter, James Sumpter

Nearly 35 years after the death of a Georgia woman and her brother, DNA evidence helped authorities move closer to closing a decades-old cold case and charge a suspect with their murder.

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A June 26 press release from the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of 55-year-old Kenneth Perry 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 connected to the 1990 rape and murder of 43-year-old Pamela Sumpter, and the murder of her brother, 46-year-old John Sumpter.

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Police found John stabbed to death inside of the apartment on July 15, 1990. Pamela, who was able to describe the attacker, but told police she “knew very little” him, died from her injuries nearly a month after the incident.

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The District Attorney’s office was able to identify Perry as a suspect with the help of a Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA grant they obtained in October 2023. In February 2024, Pamela’s rape kit was uploaded to a national database, which allowed authorities to match the DNA profile to that from an unprosecuted sexual assault case from Detroit in 1992. According to the Dekalb County DA’s office, the Detroit victim positively identified the suspect as Kenneth Perry and he was arrested by the Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit on June 6.

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Decades after the tragic loss of their family members, the Sumpter family is relieved to have some sense of closure.

“It’s been over 30 years since this terrible, evil tragedy happened to my brother and sister. We now have closure,” Pamela and John’s sibling, James Sumpter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.