Cold Case Breakthrough: Man Arrested in 1990 Double Homicide and Rape (video)

Cold Case Breakthrough Man Arrested in 1990 Double Homicide and Rape


In a major breakthrough in a decades-old cold case, 55-year-old Kenneth Perry has been arrested in connection with the 1990 double homicide and sexual assault of siblings Pamela and John Sumter in DeKalb County, New York. This case, which had remained unsolved for over 30 years, saw significant progress thanks to federal funding and advanced forensic techniques.

Case Background

Pamela and John Sumter were brutally attacked in their apartment complex in 1990. Pamela managed to provide a detailed description of her assailant before succumbing to her injuries. She informed the police that her brother had introduced the attacker, who was from Detroit, Michigan, to her. Despite the description, the case went cold for decades due to the lack of further leads.

Breakthrough with Federal Funding

The DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office received a significant boost in their investigation when they secured federal funding under the “Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA” grant. This grant, totaling half a million dollars, along with an additional $33,000 to be used over three years, enabled investigators to utilize advanced forensic methods to pursue new leads in the case.

DNA Evidence and Forensic Analysis

In February of this year, investigators collaborated with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to upload DNA profiles from the crime scene to the national DNA database. This move proved pivotal as it yielded a match within days, linking the DNA to a sexual assault case in Detroit, Michigan. Further forensic genetic genealogy analysis provided the crucial evidence needed to identify Kenneth Perry as the suspect.

Arrest and Charges

Kenneth Perry, now awaiting trial, faces multiple charges including murder, rape, and aggravated assault. This significant development has brought a sense of closure to the victims’ family, particularly to James Sumter, the surviving sibling. James expressed his gratitude for the breakthrough, acknowledging the challenging times ahead but remaining hopeful for a better future.


The arrest of Kenneth Perry marks a significant milestone in a case that had long haunted the Sumter family and the DeKalb County community. With the support of federal funding and advanced forensic technology, justice for Pamela and John Sumter is finally within reach, offering a renewed sense of hope and closure for their loved ones.


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