SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. – It’s been over 34 years since Timothy Coggins body was found on a power line, but authorities say they now believe they have solved his murder.
On Oct. 9, 1983, officials discovered the body of Coggins. Investigators say he had been brutally murdered and his body was left on a power line.
“This was not meant to kill – this was meant to send a message,” Spalding County Sheriff Darrel Dix told WXIA. “This was brutal.”
The case grew cold and remained unsolved for more than three decades.
However, new evidence came to light earlier this year and the case was reopened.
Immediately, leads started coming in from people who were afraid to speak to police at the time of the murder.
Last week, officers arrested 59-year-old Frankie Gebhardt and 58-year-old Bill Moore, Sr. on complaints of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.
Lamar Bunn, an officer with the Milner Police Department, and his mother, 58-year-old Sandra Bunn, were charged with obstruction.
Gregory Huffman, a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, was charged with a violation of the oath of office and obstruction.
“I really can’t get into a lot detail about what [the law enforcement officers] did,” Dix said. “But what they did was enough that it hindered the investigation and caused us to feel like these people need to pay for what they’re doing.”
Dix says the murder appears to have been motivated by race, and would be prosecuted as a hate crime had it happened today.