Devin ‘Sacoya’ Cooper, a transgender woman, was last seen leaving her residence on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on August 31, 2021, to go to the corner store.  She never returned home.  At the time, she was driving her black 2009 Ford Fusion, which was later recovered on the west side of Columbus.  Cooper was reported missing to the Columbus Division of Police on September 1, 2021.  She appears to be the victim of foul play.

Cooper, a transgender woman, is described as 5 foot 5 inches tall, 145 pounds, and was last seen near the intersection of her home near Howey Road and Weldon Avenue.

Her brother James says that they know that she got a text message not sure what it said but that is all that they know. That she was supposed to be going to the store and then her phone was turned off and she never made it to the store to buy some water.

Police say she was headed to a convenience store but never returned. In October, police discovered her vehicle in west Columbus with a different license plate.

Bre Belcher, who described herself as a friend of Cooper, asked people to come forward, saying family and friends have endured sleepless nights.

“This is someone’s child,” Belcher said.

Regina Love, who identified herself as Cooper’s birth mother, broke down while speaking from a podium inside police headquarters.

“We really miss her and want some closure. It’s been really hard for me… Excuse me…” she said before walking away in tears.

She later told 10 Investigates the hardest part is “wondering where she is. I know she is no longer with us. But just knowing that someone knows something they are not telling and we want some closure.”

When asked about how the past year has been, Love said: “It’s been hard. Just hard.”

Members of the FBI were present Wednesday but did not speak publicly during the news conference.

Cooper’s case is one of more than 30 cold cases that Radich said the missing person unit is currently working. Cold cases are defined as those that are more than a year old. Cooper’s partner, Richard Harris, said late last year that Cooper failed to return to their home near Cremeans Park after she left to buy bottled water at a nearby store. Though he called her cellphone repeatedly, he said it appeared to be turned off.

Her social media has not been used. Her brother does not think that she would just get up and walk away and leave her two pit bulls. She was living with her boyfriend Richard at the time going on 7 years said she just said she was going to get some water and was never seen again. He is not a person of interest at this time.

Her brother doesn’t think she ran away he thinks she’s a victim of maybe a Transgender hate crime. But the question remains who texted her and why did she never make it to the store?

Columbus police spokesman Sgt. James Fuqua said the Fusion was found fitted with a stolen plate number different from the one registered to the vehicle, which investigators combed for evidence. However, Radich declined to discuss whether any substantial evidence was recovered from the vehicle. 

Submit a Tip: Anyone with information related to the disappearance of Devin ‘Sacoya’ Cooper is asked to call the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 614-461-8477(TIPS). You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Field Office: Cincinnati

Reward:

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the location of Devin ‘Sacoya’ Cooper.

Remarks:

Cooper was last seen wearing black lemonade braids, a black and white summer dress, and black and white Baby Phat sandals.

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DEVIN “SACOYA” COOPER
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