Body found near Vacaville is that of missing federal investigator

Body found near Vacaville is that of missing federal investigator
A paramedic with the Vacaville Fire Department walks near a crime scene along Cherry Glen Road where Sandra Coke's body was discovered. (Joel Rosenbaum / Associated Press)

OAKLAND -- Police here Tuesday confirmed that the body found outside a park near Vacaville on Friday was that of missing federal investigator Sandra Coke.

In a brief news conference, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said the Alameda County coroner had positively identified the body. She said parolee Randy Alana remained a "person of interest" in the case but was not a suspect.


"We are extremely limited in the information we can share about this investigation," Watson said.

Coke, a capital case investigator for the federal public defender's office in Sacramento, disappeared Aug. 4 after leaving her home to pick up a prescription for her daughter.

Coke's car — a convertible Mini Cooper — was found a few days later about two miles away. Her family and friends had gathered together in the Bay Area after Coke went missing  and announced a $100,000 reward for anyone with information that would lead police to the 50-year-old, whom they described as a wonderful friend, mother and sister "dedicated to caring for others in her professional and personal life."

On Thursday, police said that Alana, 56, had last been seen with Coke and was a person of interest in the case.

He is listed in California's Megan's Law database as a "high-risk" sex offender with convictions for rape, rape in concert with force or violence, kidnapping with intent to commit a sex offense and oral copulation. That database noted that Alana had been in violation of registration requirements since June 11.

He was assigned a GPS monitoring device after his last release from custody on a second-degree burglary conviction, and a second database indicates that a warrant was issued for his arrest Aug. 6 for failure "to participate" in the monitoring program.

An alarm sounds when a GPS device is tampered with. It remained unclear Tuesday when Alana had tampered with his device and what parole officers knew about his whereabouts.

A spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Oakland police had requested that no information on Alana be shared at this time. "It is our standing policy that we check with an investigating agency when asked," he said. "They have asked us not to."

Alana and Coke dated briefly two decades ago, and he recently contacted her.

A search for Coke's body began Thursday evening at the Solano County Fairgrounds near Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, based on information received from Oakland investigators.

At least two dogs and more than 70 searchers from multiple agencies combed the area into the night and resumed again the next morning. On Friday afternoon, Oakland investigators received information that moved the search to the Vacaville park, where Coke's body was discovered.