Murder charges have been filed against a Forsyth County woman who was arrested in early December 2018 after the decomposing body of her 83-year-old mother was found at a residence in north Forsyth.
Amalia Elvira Ramirez, 53, was taken into custody by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, May 6 and has been charged with felony murder.
Ramirez was originally arrested by the Sheriff’s Office on alleged elder abuse charges after deputies responded to her mother’s home off Bridle Drive in Cumming on Dec. 6, 2018, investigating reports that a female had threatened suicide to a friend out of state.
According to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, deputies met with Ramirez at the residence and found the body of her mother, Himilice Ramirez, in a bedroom.
Rainwater said that they quickly learned that the body was in the advanced stages of decomposition based on its condition and was likely there for days, if not weeks.
"As soon as we walked in, the stench of a dead person ... was so obvious in the home; we immediately went to where the smell was and found the body of the mother in bed," Rainwater told the Forsyth County News at the time of the arrest.
On Tuesday, Rainwater said that an autopsy recently completed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has determined that the woman died from "homicide by neglect."
Amalia Ramirez was transported from the residence to Northside Hospital Forsyth for an evaluation due to the suicide report. After she was released, detectives learned she had been living in the residence and was her mother's primary caretaker for the last four years, Rainwater said.
From their interview, detectives discovered that Ramirez had continued living in the home as her mother's body decomposed, he said.
Based on the conditions of the home and the body, the Sheriff’s Office secured warrants for Ramirez’s arrest, charging her with felony cruelty to a person 65 years or older and exploitation/intimidation of the disabled/elderly.
"We could tell, based on the body's sores, that this 83-year-old had not been taken care of," he said.
Ramirez was held in the Forsyth County jail on the alleged elder abuse charges until December 29, 2018, when she was released on a bond of $11,240.
Based on the GBI autopsy, Rainwater said that Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit was able to secure warrants for her arrest and on Monday Ramirez was taken into custody by the Chamblee Police Department.
Ramirez is being held in the Forsyth County Jail without bond.
This story will be updated.