Arrest made in 25-year-old cold case

Law enforcement officials believe they have solved a 25-year-old cold case in Walker County.

On Friday, September 3 at about 10 p.m. special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested 50-year-old Robert Allen Mowry and charged him with one count of malice murder for the death of 54-year-old James Richard Harris in December of 1994.

On Thursday, December 22, 1994, at about 9 a.m., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was asked 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 in Chickamauga earlier that morning.  According to the GBI, 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. 

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, but, 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 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tullahoma Police Department in Tennessee, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, and the Nashville Police Department. This new evidence led to a match to evidence from the original crime scene. 

Mowry was taken into custody in Nashville. This joint investigation will be turned over to the Walker County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.