Thursday, July 31, 2008
Out for Justice: Avis Coley
Sixteen years ago, a young woman was brutally murdered on the streets of Miami. Tonight, there are still no leads in this tragic case, but Miami Police still have hope and continue their search for clues. Tonight, Patrick Fraser shows us that even though the years have gone by, they are still Out for Justice.
WSVN -- Willie Mae Kiser doesn't have much desire to think about her future, not since that terrible day in her past.
Willie Mae Kiser: "It's been horrible. Every time I hear of some type of homicide or something, I watch TV, and I think about it."
It was the murder of her daughter Avis Coley.
Willie Mae Kiser: "I was in shock."
It was June 9, 1992. That day, the pretty 28-year-old wasn't feeling well, so she took the Metrorail to Jackson Memorial Hospital's emergency room. At three in the morning, she felt better and called her mother.
Willie Mae Kiser: "So I suggested to her to stay at the hospital until daybreak."
But apparently someone offered Avis a ride. She would not make it through the day.
Emiliano Tamayo, detective: "This is where she was found, inside this planter area."
A large planter that still sits outside the Dade Medical Center, just a few blocks away from the hospital.
Emiliano Tamayo: "I believe that he befriended her at the hospital, offered her whatever might be, alcohol, narcotics and committed the murder in the planter.
After going through the cold case files, after looking at all the evidence, detective Tamayo can almost describe the man who killed Avis.
Emiliano Tamayo: "As far as I'm concerned, I believe that this individual committed more than one of these assaults."
Emiliano Tamayo: "I would venture to say that the person who committed this murder lived within close proximity to the murder scene and was confident that he would not be caught."
He did not get caught, leaving a young mother of two dead and her mother living a long nightmare.
Willie Mae Kiser: "For a long time I would go across the Little River Bridge, and it seemed like I would hear her calling me."
Actually I said the killer did not get caught. I should have added the word "yet" because times have changed, technology has changed and the odds of catching him have changed.
Wendell Harris, investigator: "There was possibly a struggle."
Wendell Harris is a crime scene investigator who helped go through the old evidence that had been saved so well.
Wendell Harris: "At that particular time, they collected nail samples from her hands because there were broken nails here on the scene."
In 1992, investigators had no way to do a DNA test on the skin found under Avis' nails, but in 2008 detective Tamayo is convinced it could scream out the name of a killer.
Emiliano Tamayo: "I'm betting that the perpetrator's DNA is on her fingernails."
His clock is ticking. The DNA is now being tested in a lab, and Willie Mae Kiser is hoping it will finally bring some news.
Willie Mae Kiser: "Whoever this person was, I just want to put a closure to it, and I just want to look them in the face like I'm looking at you and ask them why did they kill her."
She wants to know the killer of her daughter. Detective Tamayo wants to tell her.
Emiliano Tamayo: "It's more of being able to close a chapter for this victim's mother because she will never rest easy as long as she knows her daughter's killer is still out there."
A rapist, a murderer, a brutal person who may have lived near Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1992.
If you think you know who the person may be, whether they are dead, alive, in prison or living in a neighborhood, cold case detectives would appreciate a call.
And if you have a loved one that was murdered, give us a call. Many people are still out for justice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Out for Justice