SACRAMENTO, CA - Family, friends and co-workers of a Sacramento death row investigator are canvassing her Oakland neighborhood with fliers hoping to track down any leads in her disappearance.
Sandra Coke, 50, was last seen at her Oakland home on Sunday evening. She is a single mother of a 15-year-old girl, whowas the last personto see her.
Coke's car was found on Monday about 2 miles away from her home. Both of her cell phones were also found: one was near her car, the other one in Richmond.However, there's still no sign of her.
"This is completely uncharacteristic of my sister to disappear," Tanya Coke said.
Coke worked as a death penalty appeals investigator in the Sacramento office of the federal defender. The news is hitting the tight knit office hard. About two dozen colleagues are helping with the search in Oakland.
"We have a large body of trained investigators who are thinking of what they can do," Supervising Attorney Joe Schlesinger explained. "Thinking of things they can add to the investigation."
When Coke disappeared, her family said she was trying to track down her stolen dog. Her sister said someone called Coke and tried to extort money from her.
"And said, 'I have information about your dog. How much is your dog worth to you?' And she still got nothing," Tanya Coke said.
"Sandra is a resourceful dedicated woman," Schlesinger said. "If anyone can talk her way out of a kidnapping situation, it would be Sandra."
Without much to go on, police are also investigating whether she was targeted because of her work as a death row investigator.
"What we do isn't popular with a lot of people," Schlesinger said. "But I've been doing this work for a long time and I've never heard of any investigator, or lawyer, being targeted."
Coke's family also wonders if her disappearance has anything to do with her Internet dating. She went on one date recently, but by all accounts it was a pleasant date and nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Police were at her home Wednesday and looked at her computer.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Oakland Police Department.