Skull Found In Ohio Belongs To Missing Mom Cheryl Coker, Police Say
She was last seen alive dropping her teen daughter off at school in October 2018.
Law enforcement officials have announced that a skull and several bones discovered on a wooded patch of land in rural Ohio belong to a missing woman who disappeared almost 19 months ago.
On Apr. 27, Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said that over the weekend a mushroom hunter found Cheryl Coker’s remains 18 miles from her Riverside home, according to NBC News.
Shelly Applehans, a friend of Coker, told Dateline, “It’s the best news in this nightmare we’ve been living since October 2, 2018.”
On that fall morning, Coker was last seen alive when she dropped off her teenage daughter at school around 7:30 a.m.
Phone records show she then returned home at 7:35 a.m. Over three hours later, at 10:52 a.m., Coker’s phone pinged a cellphone tower when her SUV pulled into a Kroger parking lot about a mile from her home.
Surveillance footage allegedly shows a person who was dressed in all black and a hoodie get out of Coker’s car and walk through the shopping center parking lot. Other cameras recorded the individual near the Coker residence.
The next evening, Coker’s daughter used a cellphone app to locate her mom’s locked car in the parking lot. Police said Coker’s personal items, including a purse, phone, ID, money, and credit cards, were still inside the vehicle, according to People.
More than four months after 46-year-old Coker went missing, Riverside police officially classified the case a homicide and named her husband, William “Bill” Coker, as the “one and only suspect” in her death. He has not been arrested or charged with any crime.
“Mr. Coker has been cooperative at times, but his cooperation level has dropped,” Detective Travis Abney of the Riverside Police Department said in a press conference at the time, NBC News reported. “By his own admission, he was home during [the three-hour] time frame. A lot of things that he says do not make logical sense.”
Cheryl Coker had filed for divorce to end her 19-year marriage on Sept. 21, 2018 — 11 days before she went missing.
Investigators have not yet determined the cause of her death. Toxicology and forensic test results are pending.