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GBI: Woman likely knew attacker
Hunt continues for death suspect
homicide 1 jd
Authorities respond to a home Oct. 13 where a womans body was found. The GBI reports the woman likely knew her attacker. - photo by Jim Dean


Anyone with information about the death of Maria Hernandez-Reyes can call Cumming police at (770) 781-2000 or GBI at (800) 597-8477.

The suspicious death of a Forsyth County woman Oct. 13 may have been caused by someone she knew, authorities said.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said 34-year-old Maria Hernandez-Reyes’ death was a homicide, but the agency hasn’t released the cause of death because of the ongoing probe.

The GBI is working with Cumming police and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office on the case.

“Based on what agents and Cumming PD investigators have uncovered so far, it appears the victim may have known the person involved in her death,” Bankhead said.

“In addition, there was no indication of forced entry into the home.”

Bankhead said a man who rented a room from Hernandez-Reyes and her husband found her body in the Park Street home when he returned from work.

Authorities have not released the tenant’s name or that of anyone else involved in the case.

Bankhead said the investigation remains active and agents are still developing and followng leads.

Local authorities have said the neighborhood, which is off Pilgrim Mill Road near Cumming City Park, is generally safe and that public safety calls are usually for minor incidents.

Still, Hernandez-Reyes was the third person to meet a violent death in the city over the past five months.

In May, a man died while being treated for injuries suffered a couple days earlier in an altercation at his Kelly Mill Road home.

The suspect in that case has been charged with murder and aggravated assault.

About four months later, on Sept. 5, security guard David Casto was shot to death while working at Ingles grocery store on Canton Road.

Four teenage suspects face armed robbery and murder charges in connection with the case.