James Michael Coates of Woodstock was arrested without incident during a traffic stop Wednesday, according to police, and has since been charged with the murder of Joshua Harmon.
Joshua’s parents reported him missing on May 15, 1988, after he failed to return home for dinner. After an extensive 48-hour search, Joshua’s body was found in a wooded area near the apartment where he lived. Despite efforts to find a suspect, the case went cold.
However, investigators regularly reviewed the case over the years, reexamining the evidence as the technology developed, Roswell police say in the press release. With the permission of Joshua’s family, the boy’s body was exhumed and DNA evidence was found linking Coates to the crime.
James Michael Coates Age
James Michael Coates is 56 years old.
James Michael Coates Charged in Murder of 8-Year-Old Georgia Boy
Police have managed to close an unsolved 33-year-old case of 8-year-old Joshua Harmon, who was found dead in the woods of an Atlanta suburb in 1988. Convicted sex offender James Michael Coates has been arrested after more than three decades in connection. with murder. Prior to his arrest, police had obtained arrest warrants against him on multiple charges including murder, aggravated battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child sexual abuse, and first-degree cruelty to children.
Another recent case related to deferred justice has been that of the alleged serial killer Robert Durst. Durst is accused of killing his best friend Susan Berman, who was shot at her home in Christman Eve in 2000 and is being tried in a court of law. Prosecutors said Durst killed Berman out of fear that she would tell New York authorities that he killed her wife in 1982 and she helped him cover up the crime.
In April this year, Paul Flores, a suspect in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart, declared legally dead in 2002, was arrested for her murder. On Mother’s Day 2021, Sergio Williams was arrested for the 1998 murder of Leola Jordan, 91, who was found stabbed in her bed nearly 40 times. The team from Oxygen Network’s true crime show ‘Cold Justice’ helped solve the case.
According to police records, James Michael Coates had been convicted of various charges, including child molestation for crimes committed between 1990 and 1993. According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, he was incarcerated for 20 years after his last conviction in 1993 ..
Joshua Harmon’s case began in May 1988 after he failed to return home for dinner, after which his parents filed a missing person complaint. After a 48-hour search operation, police recovered his body from the woods near the family’s apartment complex on Raintree Way. Coates was a resident of the same complex, according to Roswell Police Chief James Conroy, who addressed the press during a July 23 press conference.
Coates was arrested after DNA evidence collected from the crime scene linked him to the murder, according to police. As of March 2021, Roswell Police had received funding from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordination Council, allowing investigators to pay for additional testing of original crime scene evidence conducted by a private, independent laboratory, Cyber Genetics Inc. An arrest warrant was taken. and the 56-year-old offender was arrested on July 21 during an Uber traffic stop, without incident.
“Josh’s death and the fact that his killer remained free for so long is unimaginable. I hope this arrest brings a sense of closure, “Conroy said. Harmon’s family was finally at peace after the arrest.” Josh was an amazing young man who had a strange relationship with nature and with God. So I know where he is and I know he’s at peace, ”Harmon’s aunt Marlene Carlisle said at the press conference, speaking on behalf of the family. She is the sister of Cherie Harmon, the mother of the Coates victim. She died in October 2020 at the age of 65. “My sister never gave up. She never gave up,” Carlisle said. “She went ahead and made that phone call every few years … and I know she’s smiling at everyone here.