Nearly a year has passed since Kay Thomasson was murdered in her Sandy Springs home, and the police still have no leads on identifying or arresting a suspect.
“We have not received any tips from the public. … We’re still actively working the case but have not received any additional leads,” Sandy Springs Deputy Police Chief Keith Zgonc said, despite a $100,000 reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the case.
According to the police, officers were notified June 27, 2018 of a possible homicide at a home on Old Woodbine Road. The victim was identified as Thomasson, 71, whose cause of death was a stab wound to the back of the neck and blunt-force trauma, according to the autopsy report.
Her black 2012 Kia Sorrento, which was missing from her home when her body was discovered by family members, was found at the Azalea Place Apartments in Chamblee three days later, said Sgt. Sam Worsham, a police spokesman.
He said the suspect, who is believed to have stolen the victim’s car after she was murdered, was described as a black male with medium build, wearing dark clothing. Last year, shortly after the murder took place, the police also released a video of the suspect walking into or out of Thomasson’s home.
The police’s original reward offered was $10,000, with CrimeStoppers of Metro Atlanta chipping in an additional $2,000 a few days later. About two weeks after the murder was reported, it was increased to $100,000, the largest amount offered by that department in its 13-year history.
Also, the Thomasson case is one of only two unsolved murders since the department was founded in 2006. The other one happened that year, when an infant was found dead in a bag.
Through the police, Thomasson’s family members declined the Neighbor’s interview request. But during a news conference in July at Sandy Springs Police headquarters, while surrounded by family members, Katie Gryglas, Thomasson’s daughter, gave a statement on her mother.
“We are here today to ask your help,” Gryglas said, fighting back tears. “Our mom is a loving member of this community for over 40 years. … We know this is a community that takes care of their neighbors. We’re asking that you help take care of someone who mattered greatly to us. She would have done anything for anybody, so please, if you know anything, come forward (with) anything you might know. Thank you.”
Mendy Eskew, who lives in Thomasson’s neighborhood and knew her, said, “The neighbors are still grieving her untimely death, and hope the Sandy Springs police will ultimately solve this terrible crime.”
Zgonc said one of the biggest challenges in this case is awaiting the results of DNA evidence testing. The police sent evidence to both the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) crime lab and to a private lab that Zgonc would not release the name of.
“The most frustrating part is the waiting game,” he said. “We have some additional DNA results we’re waiting for and we’re very optimistic about what is coming from our DNA testing, but it’s a waiting game. We’re working on those results.”
Zgonc said the evidence was sent to both labs “several months ago” but not all at once.
“There was a lot of evidence collected, so we sent stuff in phases. Some was sent right away and some later,” he said.
The Thomasson murder case was one of two reported homicides that occurred last year after the city had 17 straight months in which no murders were reported, from the day after Dec. 17, 2016 through the day before May 26, 2018.
On the latter date, Amber Holliman had allegedly been killed by her live-in boyfriend, Patrick Nolan, who then set her house on fire to hide the murder, police said. But that homicide was solved a few days later when Nolan was found in a Gonzales, Louisiana, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Since the Thomasson murder, no other homicides have been reported in the city, Worsham said. Zgonc said the police won’t rest until the case has been solved.
“We’re actively working it and we won’t quit until we have someone in custody,” he said. “We’ll see what the DNA test results come back. It should be a few weeks.”
To view the video of the suspect, visit https://bit.ly/2N3lER1. The police is asking for anyone who may recognize the suspect in the video to contact CrimeStoppers by calling or texting 404-577-8477 or visiting atlantapolicefoundation.org/programs/crime-stoppers/. Tips can be left anonymously.