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After three a long time, Georgia intercourse offenders are charged with killing an 8-year-old boy

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After three a long time, Georgia intercourse offenders are charged with killing an 8-year-old boy

MARIETTA, Georgia (AP) – A convicted sex offender was arrested more than 30 years ago after an 8-year-old boy was found dead in the woods of suburban Atlanta.

Roswell police said Friday that Woodstock, 56-year-old James Michael Coates has been charged with the murder and serious child abuse in the murder of Joshua Harmon. He was arrested on Wednesday after a traffic stop.

Police say Coates was arrested after DNA evidence gathered at the scene linked him to the murder.

James Michael Coates, 56, is charged with murder and grievous child abuse in the murder of Joshua Harmon. He was convicted of child abuse back in 1993.(Source: Roswell Police, WGCL via CNN)

On May 15, 1988, Joshua was reported missing by his parents after failing to return home for dinner. After several hours of searching, his body was found in a wooded area near his home.

Police said the case had gotten cold, but they had re-examined the clues over the years and improved law enforcement technology.

With his family’s permission, police exhumed the boy’s body in February 2021 in hopes of finding more evidence. Additional DNA tests were done on evidence from the crime scene, and police say the tests linked Coates to the crime.

After three a long time, Georgia intercourse offenders are charged with killing an 8-year-old boyJoshua Harmon, 8, was reported missing in 1988. His body was later found in a wooded area near his family’s home.(Source: Harmon Family, WGCL via CNN)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Coates was convicted of a 1993 crime of child molestation and spent nearly 20 years behind bars for that crime.

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