Worthington News

Slain federal investigator grew up in Worthington


A woman whose murder gained national media coverage earlier this month grew up in Worthington and graduated from Worthington High School.

Sandra Coke, 50, an investigator for the federal public defenders' office in California, disappeared from her Oakland home Aug. 4. Her body was found in a park near Vacaville, Calif., five days later.

Coke and her younger sister, Tanya, grew up in the Rush Creek neighborhood. She attended Colonial Hills Elementary School and graduated in the Worthington High School class of 1981.

Local friends posted on Facebook that Coke also attended Columbus School for Girls.

Coke was last seen Aug. 4. She had told her 15-year-old daughter she was checking out a tip on her dog that had disappeared in May, according to media accounts.

She later was seen with a paroled high-risk sex offender, whom she had dated 20 years earlier. He has been jailed for a parole violation since Aug. 6 and has been named a person of interest in Coke's death.

When she did not return home Aug. 4, her daughter reported her missing, and a well-publicized search was undertaken by her family, friends and co-workers.

The story of the missing federal investigator was reported by ABC and CBS news, the New York Daily News and the Huffington Post.

Coke's name was recognized by friends and acquaintances in Worthington, and news spread quickly via social media.

A fund has been set up for the care and education of Coke's daughter. To donate, go to sandracokefund.org.