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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call Paterson police detectives: (973) 321-1120 .
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