Timothy Coggins (249889)

A decades-old investigation in Georgia into the murder of a Black man in 1983 culminated in the arrest of five white people on Friday (Oct. 13), including two law enforcement officers charged with hindering the probe, officials said, reports Reuters and NBC News. The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta. He had been “brutally murdered” and his body had signs of trauma, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Investigators spoke to people who knew Coggins, but the investigation went cold, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference. This past March, new evidence led investigators from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Spalding County to re-examine the case. Dix did not provide details on the nature of the evidence, saying more tips were received after authorities, over the summer, announced to the media the case was re-opened. Some witnesses confessed they lived with knowledge about the case for years, but were afraid to come forward, Dix said. “It has been an emotional roller coaster for everybody that was involved,” Dix said. Police arrested five people on Friday in connection with the slaying. Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr, 58, were each charged with murder, aggravated assault and other crimes. Gregory Huffman, 47, was charged with obstruction and violation of oath of office, Dix said. Huffman was a detention officer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, but his employment was terminated after he was arrested. Lamar Bunn, a police officer with the town of Milner, which is south of Spalding County, was also arrested and charged with obstruction, as was Sandra Bunn, 58. She is Lamar’s mother, according to Atlanta TV station WXIA. Investigators are convince the murder was racially motivated, Dix said.