(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Police in Oakland, Calif., are searching for clues to the disappearance of a federal criminal investigator who may have been following a lead on her stolen dog.
Sandra Coke, 50, was last seen at her home on Sunday by her 15-year-old daughter. A spokesperson for the family said she left the house to follow up on that lead related to her missing dog.
Oakland police said they aren’t sure whether Coke’s disappearance is related to her job as a federal public defender or with her pet’s disappearance.
The dog, a King Charles spaniel named Ginny, was taken from her home in May.
“She was very attached to the dog and very concerned about trying to get her back,” said Joe Schlesinger, a friend for over 20 years. Schlesinger and Coke work with death-row inmates in the office of Federal Public Defenders.
“We work on cases where there are all kinds of tragedies and it isn’t the most popular work, but we have no reason to believe her disappearance has anything to do with the crimes she was investigating,” said Schlesinger. “She was a committed, stable person that wouldn’t just wander off.”
Schlesinger told ABC News that after Ginny was stolen, the single mother had canvassed the neighborhood. A stranger at one point called Coke with information related to her pet.
“And said, ‘I have information about your dog. How much is your dog worth to you?’ And she still got nothing,” Sandra Coke’s sister, Tanya Coke, told ABC News Bay Area television affiliate KGO.
Authorities have located Coke’s Mini Cooper not far from her home along with both of her cell phones, which were found in two different places, police said.
Relatives and co-workers held a news conference on Wednesday afternoon appealing to the public for any information related to Coke’s disappearance.
“We’re very worried. The circumstances seem very suspicious,” said Schlesinger.
Sandra Coke is described as 5-foot-6 and 150 pounds, with a medium complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a black-and-white shirt and dark jeans when she disappeared.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Oakland police.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Tal Kopan and Evan Perez, CNN
Sara Murray, CNN
Sara Weber, CNN
Hope King, CNN