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GBI Solves 25-Year-Old Murder Investigation

A murder investigation in northwest Georgia that has gone unsolved for more than two decades is unsolved no more, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A murder investigation in northwest Georgia that has gone unsolved for more than two decades is unsolved no more, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

On Thursday, December 22, 1994, at approximately 9:00 AM, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Regional Office in Calhoun was requested by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office to assist in a death investigation.  James Richard Harris was found deceased at the entrance to his property and residence at 1610 Boss Road, Chickamauga, GA earlier that morning.  Harris had been murdered and robbed by the gate of his property as he was leaving for work.  At the time, Harris worked at Miller Industries in Chattanooga, TN.

In 2009, investigators received information from Crime Stoppers about the murderer’s possible identity.  The GBI, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chattanooga Police Department pursued additional leads which brought the case closer to a resolution; however, there was not enough evidence to make an arrest.

In 2020, police developed new evidence following surveillances and interviews conducted by the GBI, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, the TBI, the Tullahoma Police Department (TN), the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office (TN), and the Nashville Police Department.  This new evidence led to a match to evidence from the original crime scene.

The state law enforcement agency says that special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) arrested 50-year-old Robert Allen Mowry around 10:00 p.m. on September 4 and charged him with one count of malice murder in the 1994 death of James Richard Harris.

More than 25 years after the crime, Mowry was taken into custody in Nashville, TN.  This joint investigation will be turned over to the Walker County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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