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Body found near search area for missing Oakland woman

August 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A grim discovery Friday, as crews discovered the body of a female while searching for missing Oakland woman Sandra Coke.

We don't know who that person is yet. But the 50-year-old's family is certainly afraid that it is her. She vanished over the weekend.

The body was found Friday afternoon in a rural area of Vacaville west of Interstate 80, across from Lagoon Valley Park.

The bad news came around 2:30 p.m., as police announced that searchers from Contra Costa County had located the body on the west side of I-80 in an unincorporated area across the highway.

"We can confirm that a body has been located," said Oakland police Lt. Henderson Jordan. "The body is of a female. We are awaiting official confirmation of the identity of the body."

Police cordoned off the roadway and started processing the crime scene, as they began winding down the search; an operation that began in Vallejo Thursday night.

Police, FBI, and search and rescue teams had searched a three square mile area around the Solano County Fairgrounds. They launched a boat in Lake Chabot with cadaver dogs trained to detect human remains in water. The search was fruitless. By midday, the search operation was being moved to Lagoon Valley Park.

The criminal defense investigator left her home Sunday night, telling her teenage daughter she would be back in a half hour. She never returned.

Oakland police said she was last seen Sunday evening with a paroled sex offender Randy Alana. The 56-year-old is a paroled sex offender and felon with a long and violent rap sheet.

According to our media partner the San Jose Mercury News, Alana was acquitted of murdering a 23-year-old Oakland woman in 1983. While he was waiting for trial, he was accused of stabbing another inmate. He pleaded no contest and spent six years in prison.

Alana was arrested Tuesday on an unspecified parole violation.

Friends of Coke say she briefly dated him more than 20 years ago.

Police would not say what led them to the North Bay, but they began their search there after Alana was arrested and interrogated.

The long, sad wait goes on for the family and friends of Sandra Coke, who'd hoped for a rescue and not a recovery.

Anyone who may have seen Coke is asked to call the Oakland Police Department's missing persons unit at (510)-238-3641, Crime Stoppers of Oakland at (510)-777-8672, tip line at (510)-777-2805, toll-free tip hotline at (855)-TIPS-247, family and friends tip line at (415)-385-5190, or email tips to FindSandraCoke@gmail.com.


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