TUESDAY, May 8 (UPDATE): Authorities late Tuesday finally were able to say conclusively that missing Paterson mother Shanaya Coley was the murder victim whose badly decomposed body was found over the weekend in the back seat of her car.
The body was found with "puncture and incision wounds" in the back seat of Coley's gray Nissan Altima after a resident summoned police to the parking lot of a Marion Street garden apartment complex shortly before 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald said in a joint announcement.
Coley, a 24-year-old single mom who lived with her family, was believed abducted on Dec. 5 -- meaning the car could have remained in the unassigned parking space where it was found for five months.
Although authorities were certain it was Coley, the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark wasn't able to positively identify the body until Tuesday.
Valdes asked that anyone with information that could help the investigation contact her office’s tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or email email@example.com or call Paterson police detectives: (973) 321-1120 .
MONDAY (UPDATE): Authorities were still unable to say with 100% certainty that a murder victim whose body found in the back seat of a car owned by missing Paterson mother Shanaya Coley is her -- despite their belief that it is.
SUNDAY, May 6 (UPDATE): A body found in the back seat of a car owned by a missing 24-year-old Paterson woman is believed to be hers, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the Sunday morning discovery said.
Official identification of Shanaya Coley's body and the cause of her death were pending an autopsy by a state medical examiner, authorities said.
However, authorities are certain it's her, one said.
A concerned citizen called police after finding Coley’s gray Nissan Altima in the parking lot of a Marion Street garden apartment complex, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Paterson Police Chief Troy Oswald said in a joint release.
Coley was reported missing on Dec. 5.
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