AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - It's the last known sighting of 23-year-old Nicole Diane Coleman -- walking through the parking lot of the Kool Corner convenience store at Manor Road and Northeast Drive.
"The last time we've known her to be on video is here on Friday night December 28th. The last time we have her on video is around 7:30 pm," said APD Homicide Detective Patrick O'Farrell.
Three days later on New Year's Eve, police say a man on his bike found Coleman's body in the woods about a mile away along Ed Bluestein Blvd. Police say Coleman was nude with "obvious trauma."
A homicide...but Austin Police Detective Patrick O'Farrell says to protect the investigation they're not saying exactly how she was killed. A week before Coleman was last seen, a woman was attacked and raped at the nearby Davis White Park.
Two men were arrested for that crime.
Police checked into a connection between that incident and the Coleman case. But O'Farrell says there is no connection. "Through investigative methods we have preliminarily eliminated those suspects," he said. O'Farrell says Coleman moved to Austin from Houston a few months ago.
"She had been receiving treatment from several mental health facilities here in town and she recently moved to this neighborhood," O'Farrell said.
Earlier this month FOX 7 Austin spoke with Coleman's grandmother Jillian Coleman Wheeler by phone. She says Nicole was staying at a group home for women in Austin and stopped answering her text messages after Christmas. "Nicole was a valuable person and had a lot to offer the world and it's a great tragedy that someone just treated her as an object and took her away from us," Wheeler said.
As far as whether Coleman's murder was random or involved someone she knew... "At this time we don't know. I mean with the mental health problems that she has she was a high risk victim," APD Detective O'Farrell said.
Detective O'Farrell pointed out the area where Coleman's body was found.
He said it would have been about a 10-minute walk if she was on foot.
By releasing the convenience store surveillance video, police are hoping someone seeing this story will remember something. "The clothes that she was wearing in the video footage that we released this morning I think would stand out. That pink or reddish shirt with the design on the sleeves."
Nicole's grandmother Jillian sent FOX 7 this statement on Wednesday:
If you have any information about the death of Nicole Coleman, call Austin Police.