Missing woman search: 9 issues to know about Miamisburg case

Authorities are searching for clues about a missing Miamisburg woman, whose 2017 disappearance led FBI, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and local police to search areas on Lower Miamisburg Road last week.

Chelsey Coe was 25 in September when her mother reported her missing. Here’s nine issues to know about the case:

•Coe's status: Miamisburg police said they have no specific knowledge that Coe's body was buried at her last known address of 551 Lower Miamisburg Road or other properties searched last week.

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But Patrick Oliver, a former Fairborn and Cleveland police chief and current Cedarville University professor who has followed the case closely, said “they have reason to believe there’s a body on the property.” Miamisburg Police Chief John Sedlak said police are holding out “hope” that the missing woman will “show herself.”

•Person of interest: Miamisburg police said they have a "strong person of interest" in the case, but have identified him only as a male. Sedlak said that person has "not specifically" been cooperative with authorities.

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•How long Coe has been missing. Her mother, Shula Woodworth of Adams County, reported her daughter missing last September after not hearing from Coe for a couple of months. At that time, she was described as 5-foot-7, 150 pounds with blue eyes, blonde hair with a "Love" tattoo on her hip, and one of stars on her lower back, according to police.

•The land searched. Any and all search warrants filed in Miamisburg Municipal Court regarding the search have been sealed, court officials said. But at least three properties – including Coe's last known address – have been part of the search.

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Neighboring landowners at the 565 and 587 “have been extremely generous and cooperative,” Sedlak told this news organization. But citing the ongoing investigation, he declined to provide information about all of the properties searched.

•Search details. Efforts to find clues along Lower Miamisburg began about 8 a.m. May 1 and ended that day after about 14 hours. They resumed May 3 and the search last about 10 hours. Authorities used excavation equipment to dig up land at 551 and a 565, used ground-penetrating radar and canine units.

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More than a dozen FBI, Ohio BCI, Miamisburg police and crews from the south suburban Tactical Crime Suppression Unit were part of Tuesday’s search, authorities said. Sedlak said Thursday’s search included FBI and Miamisburg police. Police have said they have no plans to conduct any searches this week.

•Evidence. Few details have been released on what authorities have found on Lower Miamisburg. Sedlak said Friday "we will be analyzing and evaluating the items seized during the searches … to determine where that may lead us. It is too early to determine that at this time."

•The neighborhood. Lower Miamisburg Road is just west of the Great Miami River and about a mile southwest of downtown Miamisburg. The area does not attract a high volume of traffic and is described as a "quiet" area by residents.

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•Public mood. Coe's mother has spoken of the possibility that her daughter is no longer alive and – if that is the case – of her need for closure.

Residents of the neighborhood have expressed shock and disbelief that a search of this type has occurred where they live. They have talked about their desire for closure for Coe’s family.

•What can you do? Police have said calls from the public have been helpful. Anyone with information they believe would be helpful to the case is asked to call Miamisburg Sgt. Jeff Muncy at 937-847-6612.

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