OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A woman who was found dead in Vacaville on Friday has been identified as missing 50-yer-old Oakland resident Sandra Coke.
Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said at a brief news conference at police headquarters Tuesday afternoon that the department is unable to more details about the case at this point.
“We’re extremely limited in the amount of information we can share with the community,” Watson said.
Coke’s family released a statement following the announcement which read, in part:
“The Coke family is devastated by the loss of our beloved Sandra. She was a loving mother, daughter, sister and auntie, and a shining light in our family; her good cheer, easy laugh and generous hugs will be missed. Those of us who were privileged to know Sandra will remember her as an unusually kind, generous and big-hearted person. She passionately devoted her professional life to helping the poor and those who endured difficult childhoods. All of us will miss Sandra’s beautiful, giving spirit.”
In a separate statement Coke’s employer, The Office of the Federal Defender, echoed the sentiment:
“The Federal Defender staff for over a week now have been heartbroken over the disappearance and now confirmed death of their loved and respected coworker.”
That statement also acknowledged the likelihood that the department will eventually be asked to “defend whoever may eventually be charged” with Coke’s death.
The 9th Circuit Federal Court also released the following statement:
“All of us in the federal court family are deeply saddened by the death of our colleague and co-worker. Sandra Coke was an admired and respected professional working in a highly challenging area of the law. She was passionate about her work, devoted to her clients and colleagues, and performed her duties with fairness and integrity. She will be greatly missed. Our hearts go out to her family.”
Coke had last been seen by her 15-year-old daughter when she left her home in the 600 block of Aileen Street in Oakland at around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 4.
She was reported missing after she failed to return home that evening.
Coke’s car was found parked in the 800 block of 32nd Street in Oakland on the evening of Aug. 5, and police said they found one of her two cellphones discarded along Interstate Highway 80 in Richmond.
Last Thursday, the search for Coke focused on an area near Lake Chabot behind Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.
The next day, searchers began scouring Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville and found a body in a rural area west of I-80, across from the park, Solano County sheriff’s officials said.
Coke was an investigator for the federal public defender’s office in Sacramento, and many of her colleagues participated in the search for her.
Oakland police have identified convicted sex offender Randy Alana, 56, as a person of interest in Coke’s disappearance. The two had dated in the distant past, police said.
Alana is currently in custody on an unrelated parole violation.
Coke is believed to have been with Alana on the night of her disappearance, according to police.
A fund has been established for the care and education of Ms. Coke’s daughter. To donate, visit: http://sandracokefund.org
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