Sandra Coke, a US criminal investigator, was most likely murdered during a 40 minute period of time Aug. 4 in a motel in West Oakland by her ex-lover. He then apparently drove her car to Vacaville and dumped the body in a creek bed, according to court documents this week.
Randy Alana has 17 previous felony convictions and was charged with the murder last week. He faces life in prison without parole if he is convicted of the murder of the 50 year-old investigator.
Alana also has been charged with stealing the woman’s vehicle (vehicle theft), and two counts of grand theft. He is suspected of stealing the investigator’s car and using her ATM card to take out $400 after her murder. Alana was arraigned on these charges last week, and was back in court last Monday, where he either was assigned a public defender or hired a lawyer.
Court documents state that Alana called the woman on her cell phone on the evening of Aug. 4. After that, Coke drove from her home in Oakland. She informed her daughter she was going to look for her missing dog and go to the drug store.
A GPS ankle monitor and video indicated that Alana was sitting at the Nights Inn Motel located on West. MacArthur Blvd. At 9:20 that evening, he drove north onto Market Street. Coke’s cell phone was located a mile from the hotel.
The GPS tracker stopped, as Alana removed it at 9:23 pm.
The police did not talk about any type of physical evidence that tied Alana to the murder scene. The documents seemed to indicate that it was mostly circumstantial evidence, and the report laid out the details of Alana’s movements on Aug. 4 and 5.
Court documents stated that on Aug. 4 late in the evening, Coke’s personal cell was being used in Crockett, Vallejo and Vacaville. A few minutes later, video that showed the front and rear of Coke’s car was filmed at Cherry Glen and Rivera, which is just off the I-80 east exit in Vacaville.
A police search time in Contra Costa County found Coke’s body in a creekbed on Aug. 9. Police state that after he dumped the body, Alana went back to the East Bay.
The personal cell that Coke owned was turned on and used in Pinole a few minutes after midnight Aug. 5. A few minutes later, video showed the suspect driving Coke’s Mini into a parking lot at a 7-11 in San Pablo. There he took out more than $400 from an ATM.
About 6 hours after that, Alana drove the Mini to a gas station in East Oakland and tried to take out more money, but the transaction was declined.
Coke’s Mini was found on 32nd Street that night by the Oakland Housing Authority. In the car, the police found both her purse and federal ID.
Alana was placed under arrest on Aug. 6 and he was carrying both Coke’s car keys and debit card.
Police did not state how Coke was killed, but the murder charge does not mention the use of a deadly weapon.
Alana and Coke met when she was doing an investigation of a capital murder case from the 1990s. They apparently become lovers. Alana was in and out of jail for years, and was a high risk sex offender who had been convicted twice for rape.
The Coke family was devastated by her loss, and has since launched the Sandra Coke Fund, which will provide funds for her daughter’s care and education.