Investigators close to solving 34-year-old cold case murder

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — It’s a case that’s haunted one Georgia community for decades and now authorities are close to solving it.

Someone killed 23-year-old Timothy Coggins 34 years ago, and investigators tell Channel 2's Richard Elliot that new clues have detectives hopeful they'll solve the cold case.

Deputies say they discovered Coggins’ body near some power lines along a dusty stretch of Minter Road in Spalding County in 1983.

“It was a horrible death,” Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said. “It was a torturous death.”

Dix says they got new information through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation from someone who he says shed new light on existing evidence and could lead them to several arrests.


Because he feels they’re close to solving this homicide, the sheriff couldn’t release many details, except to say he believes this was a hate crime.

“But the people who did it, they know what it was,” Dix said. “The people who did this know how he was killed, and those are the people we are coming after.”

Elliot said Minter Road looks about the same as it did 34 years ago. It’s still a dirt road, and one neighbor who didn’t want to go on camera said it did involve power lines, just like one that is there now, but again, it was decades ago and not a lot of people living in the neighborhood now lived there then.

They are shocked by the news.

“I think it’s horrible,” Renee Underwood said. “It’s sad that that would happen. It’s interesting to know about the area. I think, I hope, they find who done it and justice is served. I really do.”

Katelynn Thomas lives down the street and wasn't even born at the time.

"Its kind of scary though, but I think they should figure out who did it so that they can have justice and everything," Thomas said.