Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney

Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit

Sherry Boston, District Attorney


June 26, 2024

Suspect Identified Through Federal Grant Secured by DeKalb DA’s Office to Re-Open Cold Cases with DNA Evidence

Decatur, Ga.- DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces the indictment of a Loganville man accused of raping a woman, and stabbing both her and her brother in 1990 in the Stone Mountain apartment the victims shared.

On Tuesday, a DeKalb County Grand Jury indicted Kenneth Perry, 55, 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, all in connection with the rape and murder of Pamela Sumpter, 43, and the murder of John Sumpter, 46.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Unit executed a warrant for Defendant Perry’s arrest on June 6, 2024. He was arrested without incident in Gwinnett County and remains in the DeKalb County Jail without bond.  

Federal Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA Grant

The District Attorney’s Cold Case team identified Defendant Perry through investigative work funded by the Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA grant secured by the office in October 2023 from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

In preparation to apply for the grant, an investigator in the DA’s Office completed an audit of 50 unsolved homicide cases in DeKalb County and identified the Sumpter case as a good candidate for the grant because the evidence included DNA from an unknown individual.

After receiving the grant, the DA’s Office worked with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to upload the DNA profile at the national level and received a match to an unprosecuted 1992 sexual assault in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit case file listed a man named Kenneth Perry as the suspect, and the DA’s Cold Case team worked with Othram, a private lab partner, and the GBI to confirm the DNA in the DeKalb case belonged to Defendant Perry of Loganville, Georgia.

Case Timeline

July 15, 1990
According to the investigation, on July 15, 1990, officers with the DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD) responded to a report of a person stabbed at an apartment complex on Tree Hills Parkway in Stone Mountain. When DKPD arrived, they found Pamela Sumpter at a neighbor’s apartment. She was visibly injured and said she had been raped and stabbed.

Ms. Sumpter told officers that her brother, John Sumpter, had been stabbed as well. Officers found Mr. Sumpter deceased in the Sumpter’s apartment next door.

Ms. Sumpter was transported to the hospital where medical professionals collected a rape kit that included DNA from her attacker. Police interviewed Ms. Sumpter in the hospital. She told investigators her brother had brought a man over to their apartment. She knew very little about this new acquaintance, but she was able to give police a detailed description, including that he was from Detroit, Michigan. 

August 5, 1990
Ms. Sumpter succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. The case went cold.

November 2022
As part of its continuing initiative to test pre-1999 rape kit evidence, the GBI sent the DNA samples from Ms. Sumpter’s rape kit to a private lab using task force funds from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s (CJCC) Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).

February 2023
The rape kit was analyzed by BODE Technology and a male DNA profile was identified and uploaded into Georgia’s statewide DNA database in June 2023 with no match at the state level.

Spring 2023
An investigator in the DeKalb County DA’s Office completed an audit of 50 DeKalb County unsolved homicide cases in preparation to apply for a federal grant for prosecuting cases using DNA. The case was chosen as a good candidate for the grant as it contains DNA from an unknown individual.

October 2023
The DA’s Office received the “Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA” grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). 

February 2024
The DA’s Office worked with the GBI to upload the DNA profile at the national level and received a match soon afterward to an unprosecuted sexual assault case in Detroit, Michigan in 1992.

March 2024
The DA’s Office received the Detroit case file. The victim identified the suspect as her ex-boyfriend, Kenneth Perry. A DA’s Office investigator located a man in Loganville, Georgia with the same name and birthdate as the Detroit suspect. 

April 2024
Using Forensic Genetic Genealogy (FGG), Othram, a private lab partner, determined genealogical matches to the DNA from Pamela Sumpter’s rape kit “formed a family network that could include Mr. Perry.” They recommended testing a direct sample from Mr. Perry for confirmation.

June 6, 2024
Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit executed an arrest warrant and Perry was taken into custody without incident. Investigators collected a DNA sample from Perry to confirm that he was the perpetrator in the 1990 case. 

June 20, 2024
The GBI notified the DA’s Office that the DNA sample collected from Perry at the time of his arrest was a match to the DNA collected in Ms. Sumpter’s rape kit.

Cold Case Tip Line
Anyone who believes they may have information about Kenneth Perry or the murders of John and Pamela Sumpter is encouraged to call the District Attorney’s Cold Case Tip Line at 404-371-2444.

Who is Othram?
Othram is a private lab based in The Woodlands, Texas, that works with law enforcement agencies to develop DNA profiles for unsolved cold cases with unmatched DNA.