Roy D. Coons, 45, lived two doors down from Yhoana Arteaga and her family in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department who apprehended him on Monday
The neighbor of a 12-year-old girl who was killed inside her Tennessee home last month, was arrested by Nashville police and charged with premeditated murder and other charges.
Roy D. Coons, 45, lived two doors down from Yhoana Arteaga and her family in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department who apprehended him on Monday.
Police – joined by mayor Megan Barry – said that they took the man, with multiple counts prior, into custody on Monday.
Coons was identified early on in the investigation as a possible suspect.
MNPD Chief Steve Anderson said that DNA and other ‘scientific analysis’ of evidence both by the department and the TN Bureau of Investigation led to the man.
He was charged with first-degree felony murder, attempted rape of a child, and especially aggravated burglary.
Yhoana, 12, was found brutally beaten and strangled to death in her mobile home after sending a text to her mother that someone was knocking on the door
‘The death of anyone is especially tragic and especially when it’s a homicide,’ Anderson said in the press conference, according to the Tennessean.
‘And then when it’s a young person, 12 years old, not yet reached the prime of their life, it’s especially tragic.
‘It’s certainly a relief to this police department that this man is in custody, and I know it’s a relief to all of Nashville.’
Arteaga was found brutally murdered inside her mobile home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, on August 10, after sending her mother a text message saying that someone was knocking on the front door.
Yhoana’s mother entered the family’s mobile home on Old Dickerson Pike in Nashville (pictured) and came upon her daughter’s partially undressed body
When the girl’s mother returned home from work with her two other children at 6.45pm that evening, just over an hour after receiving the message, she found Yhoana’s lifeless body laying partially undressed in her room.
In an interview with WSMV, Dr. Li, who conducted the autopsy on Yhoana, said she died as a result of strangulation and ruled the manner of death a homicide, characterizing it as a senseless and brutal murder.
Li’s final autopsy report also documented contusions to the victim’s head.
Coons was charged with first-degree two counts of first-degree felony murder, attempted rape of a child, and especially aggravated burglary
The medical examiner said it took him several hours to examine Arteaga’s body because the injuries she had sustained were so severe.
In an interview with WSMV , Dr. Li, who conducted the autopsy on Yhoana, said she died as a result of strangulation and ruled the manner of death a homicide, characterizing it as a senseless and brutal murder
The child was beaten and strangled, as evidenced by abrasions and ligature marks on her neck, according to Dr Li. She also suffered hemorrhaging and had bruises and scrapes.
According to officials, Coons has been convicted for more than 30 offenses, both felonies and misdemeanors since 1992.
His most recent was a felony marijuana possession and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon in 2016.
Detectives alluded that Yhoana ‘knew of’ her killer.
There were no signs of forced entry.
‘Our heart breaks any time we lose a young person,’ Barry said.
‘And the horrific murder of this beautiful child, Yhoana Arteaga, really just rocked the Madison community.’
The mayor thanked the police officers who worked the crime, crediting their work with ‘bringing her killer to justice.’