June 23rd, 2021 – 10:20 AM
Gordon County Sheriff’s Office –
From Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston:
On the afternoon of March 2nd, 2021, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence in a mobile home park near Resaca in response to a scene of severe elder neglect in questionable circumstances.
Local Emergency Medical personnel and officials from the County Coroner’s Office responded as well. The victim, who succumbed a short time later at a local hospital, was identified as Vicki Darlene Sumner, age 67.
Sheriff’s detectives immediately initiated a criminal investigation due to the circumstances surrounding the death, focusing on evidence of neglect so severe that even veteran officers were astonished.
A search warrant was executed at the scene and physical evidence was collected and examined. The victim’s body was sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur where a post-mortem examination was completed by the GBI Medical Examiner.
Detectives continued to follow up their investigation, conducting interviews with witnesses and gathering other evidence. Today, Sheriff’s detectives assigned to the case obtained arrest warrants charging Stephanie Martin, age 47, of 515 Cook Road, Resaca, with 1 count of (Felony) Murder, and Neglect of an Elderly Person.
Martin is the daughter of the victim and was allegedly caring for Ms. Sumner at the time of Sumner’s death. Martin was arrested at her home this afternoon without incident and is lodged in the County Jail. She will be scheduled for an appearance in Court at a later date.
Sheriff’s Detectives consulted closely with the GBI Medical Examiner’s staff and also the District Attorney’s Office throughout the course of this investigation, and are grateful for their assistance.
Sheriff Ralston said, “This is a heartbreaking case, as is any such matter in which helpless people are victimized. These cases are often very complicated as well, and my detectives conducted a thorough and complete investigation. The defendant will now face a jury of her peers in our court system.”