ALBANY, Ga. — An Albany business woman was found dead in her Mercer Avenue shop Thursday afternoon, officials say.
Dougherty County Coroner Emma Quimbley said Tuesday afternoon that officials had all but ruled out foul play in 78-year-old Amaya King’s death, saying that her death was the result of a self-inflicted injury.
“There’s nothing to suggest that this was anything but a suicide,” Quimbley said. “The inside doors were locked, there were no signs of foul play. It’s seems pretty clear that this was a suicide.”
Albany Police say that King’s husband called for a welfare check after she failed to come home from work at her shop, Swank Dress Shop on the 400 block of Mercer Avenue.
When police arrived, they searched the premises and found her dead on the property.
Quimbley said that no note or other indication as to a reason had been discovered.
A woman, identifying herself only as Angela from New York, described Amaya King as her mentor in the performing arts and said that word of King’s death left her with disbelief and shock.
“I’d describe her as upbeat, courageous and funny,” she said. “She’s been a mentor to be and done nothing but help me realize my dream.”
King was married to Paul King, the brother of famed civil rights attorney C.B. King.
In a 1978 issue of Ebony Magazine, Paul and Amaya King were profiled as an example of a successful interracial couple living in the Deep South.
The article states that the Kings met in Spain, where she was studying opera and he was working at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. In 1963, they moved to Albany and opened a business here during the Civil Rights Movement.
Word of her death caught many, including those in her church family, by surprise.
“Amaya is a well loved, loyal, upstanding and treasured member of our parish and Catholic community. She sang in our choir her music enriched our Sunday worship she was a great contribution to our Parish life,” the Rev. Finbarr Stanton, pastor St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, said.
There has been no immediate word on funeral arrangements.