COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus police are asking for the public’s help finding a woman who went missing nearly six months ago.
Police believe Sacoya Cooper, whose legal name is Devin, may be the victim of foul play.
They were able to gather evidence from her car which was found weeks after she was reported missing.
Cooper is a 33-year-old transgender woman who was last seen in the Linden area, specifically at Howey and Weber roads.
“Every holiday, birthday, we called each other,” said James Carswell, Cooper’s brother. “My birthday was Oct. 31, so I didn’t get that call. It’s hard.”
Detectives said they tracked down Cooper’s car on the west side of Columbus, but it did not have the original license plate on it and they were able to gather some evidence there but did not say exactly what that evidence was.
“Surveillance video is something that we continue to review,” said Sgt. Scott Leroy, supervisor with the Columbus Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit. “We’ve got various businesses that we continue to do the research in, but at this time, we don’t have anything to present.”
Police said tips in the case came in early, but have since dried up, so they are asking for the public’s help.
“She’s been missing since Aug. 31,” Leroy said. “Here we are in February. We need to find this person and get results, whatever that may be. We are asking those with a conscience to step forward and do the right thing and give us the information.”
Densil Porteous with Stonewall Columbus said he’s pleased to see the case getting attention.
“The reality is that so many cases similar to this for trans identities are usually often unsolved for a number of different reasons,” he said.
Detectives said Cooper’s gender identification is why they’ve released her full name. Porteous said it is important the community is aware of her case.
“We pay more attention to not only Sacoya’s plight but to the plight of so many other transgender folks who have been murdered or have just disappeared and their cases have gone unsolved,” he said.
Cooper’s family misses the daily phone calls and her outgoing smile.
“That smile upon [her] face, it was… [she] was… [she] just brightened up the room,” said Cooper’s biological mother Regina Love.
“[She’s] just a good old child,” said Cooper’s adoptive mother LuAnn Cooper. “[She] was happy and outgoing, very going, you know, Sacoya was there.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Columbus police at 614-645-4545.