James Michael Coates Biography James Michael Coates Wiki
In a cold case, police have arrested the murder James Michael Coates of a missing 8-year-old Joshua Harmon who was found dead near his home in Roswell over 30 years ago.
The Roswell Police Department has made an arrest in the 1988 murder of 8-year-old Joshua Harmon. James Michael Coates, 56, of Woodstock, was taken into custody July 21st and booked into the Fulton County Jail on multiple charges including Murder.
— Roswell Police (@RoswellGAPolice) July 23, 2021
Joshua Harmon was missing on 15 May 1988
On May 15, 1988, eight-year-old Joshua Harmon was reported missing by his parents when he failed to come home for dinner, according to police. Two days later, his body was found in the woods near the Raintree Way apartment complex where he lived.
The police searched for years, but until 33 years later there was no trace of an arrest.
In February 2021, Roswell police exhumed Joshua’s body with his family’s permission to try to identify possible evidence.
With additional DNA testing from the crime scene, investigators were able to link a suspect identified as 56-year-old James Michael Coates to the crime.
A Roswell police officer arrested Coates at a traffic stop Wednesday morning. Officials have confirmed with FOX 5 that Coates is a registered sex offender who has been arrested multiple times in the past.
It was a tragedy no family should endure, ”said Roswell Police Chief James Conroy. “Josh’s death and the fact that his killer stayed free for so long is inconceivable. I hope this arrest brings a sense of isolation to the Harmon family. The many officials, detectives, special agents, lawyers, scientists and retirees who worked on this case never gave up hope of bringing Josh’s murderer to justice. They are true heroes, and I thank each one of them for their dedication and perseverance. ”
Coates is charged with murder, felony, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, luring a child for indecent purposes, wrongful imprisonment, first degree cruelty towards children, concealing the death of another, and manipulating evidence.