Person of interest in Sandra Coke's death says they were to wed

August 18, 2013 5:36:17 PM PDT
The person of interest in the death of federal investigator Sandra Coke is speaking for the first time from behind jail walls.

Randy Alana is at Santa Rita Jail. He spoke exclusively with our media partner, the Bay Area News Group. He's painting a picture that he had Coke were involved in a loving relationship. Her family, however, says none of it is true.

The 56-year-old remains a person of interest in the disappearance and death of Coke. He's in jail for several parole violations including not charging his GPS, resisting arrest, and having contact with Coke. On Friday a judge revoked his parole.

Alana has a long and violent criminal history. He even had a stay-away order to keep him from seeing Coke. But in a jailhouse interview, he said the two were in a relationship and that, "We recently talked about getting married."

Coke's family denies that the two had any involvement since they dated more than 20 years ago. Her sister Tanya released a statement that reads, in part, "He was the last person seen with my sister, but claims he has nothing to do with her disappearance and killing? Why would we or anyone else believe what he has to say?"

But Alana claims that when he wasn't in jail over the course of the last year for multiple parole violations he was living with Coke, sharing her North Oakland home.

When I showed his photo to neighbors who didn't want to go on camera, a few said they'd seen Alana on their street over the last few months.

"That's him," said one neighbor named Jay. "That's him right there. There ain't no doubt about it. That's him, and it's bad, real bad."

"I did see him walking to the store and back," another neighbor said. "And he never looked in my direction."

The manager of the uptown market and liquor store tells me both Alana and Coke were regular customers of his. But he doesn't remember seeing them together.

Authorities say Alana was with Coke the night she vanished. But they're not calling him a suspect.

From behind a glass partition at the Santa Rita Jail, Alana maintained he had nothing to do with Coke's disappearance and quote, "I'm being treated like a suspect."

Alana is being held at the jail without bail for the parole violation. That's the only charge against him. They'll hold him for 180 days and release him if no other charges are filed.

Friends and colleagues of Sandra Coke have set up a fund in her memory. The money will go toward her teenage daughter's care and education. For more information on how to donate, click here.

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