Homicide victim's family works with police to help solve murder

Seeing Nicole Diane Coleman, 23, just days before she was found dead was a difficult sight for her grandmother, Jillian Coleman Wheeler.

Wednesday, Austin Police released surveillance video displaying the last known sighting of Coleman before she was found dead. On New Year’s Eve, a bicyclist riding alongside Ed Bluestein Blvd. found Coleman’s body. Police said Coleman was nude and had signs of obvious trauma.

Wheeler said the family has moved passed shock and is grieving. "Now we are moving on to the phase where we are coming to terms with the fact that there is this big hole in our life," Wheeler said. 

Originally from Houston, Wheeler said her granddaughter was visiting friends in Austin when she felt suicidal and admitted herself into local mental health care facilities. After being released, she was staying at a care home for women.

Wheeler last saw her granddaughter on Christmas Eve.

She said Coleman last spoke to her mother Christmas Day.

Surveillance footage of Coleman coming in and out of Kool Corner on Manor Road was captured on December 28th. "We had hoped that she would get better again and she wanted to finish school she wanted to be a psychologist and help other kids, she wanted to get married and have kids as well,” said Wheeler. “All of that has been taken away from her by someone who brutalized her and murdered her and just left her by the side of the road like trash."

Investigators are withholding the manner in which Coleman was killed.

The thought the killer still out there haunts Wheeler. She, along with the rest of Coleman’s family, is working with police to retrace the moments leading up to her granddaughter’s death. "One of things we don't know is we don't know the timeline of her last couple of days anything you saw that can plug that hole whether you saw someone interact with her or whether you saw her own that will help police build a timeline," said Wheeler.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

They can also text "Tip 103" + their message to CRIMES or use the new Crime Stoppers App or email APD Homicide at homcide.apd@austintexas.gov.



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