Cheryl Coates : “Body Found in Washtenaw County 39 Years Ago Finally Identified as Cheryl Coates”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Investigators have finally identified the body of a woman who was found in Washtenaw County nearly 39 years ago. The body, which had been buried in a shallow grave, was discovered in January 1985 in the area of MacArthur Blvd. and Stamford Road in Superior Township. The victim, Cheryl Coates, had been shot to death.

After years of uncertainty, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday that they had positively identified the body as Coates. The breakthrough came as a result of a collaboration between the sheriff’s office and Othram Labs, a forensic DNA company. Through genealogical research, a DNA profile was obtained, and it was confirmed that the Jane Doe found in 1985 was indeed Cheryl Lynne Coates.

Coates, who would have been 25 years old at the time of her death, had connections to the Southfield and Detroit areas. Investigators believe that she was killed sometime between January 1984 and January 1985. Now, with the victim’s identity established, law enforcement officials are shifting their focus towards solving the murder and bringing justice to Coates and her family.

Tragically, Coates’ biological mother, Meta Waller, was a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Waller was working at the Pentagon when a hijacked passenger jet struck the building, claiming her life. Coates’ surviving cousin currently resides in Washtenaw County, adding an additional layer of significance to the case.

In recent years, there has been a renewed effort to uncover the truth about Coates’ murder. Age-progressed photos were released in 2014, and the collaboration with Othram Labs in 2021 provided a crucial breakthrough. As investigators continue their work, they are urging anyone with information about the case to come forward.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has set up a tip line for individuals to provide information related to the murder. Those with any knowledge that could assist in the investigation are encouraged to contact or call 734-973-7711. By working together, the hope is that justice can finally be served for Cheryl Coates and her grieving family.

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