Service remembers woman whose remains identified

Associated Press

Comstock Township — A memorial service was held in western Michigan for a woman whose remains were identified 34 years after they were found in a Louisiana parish.

Relatives of Carol Ann Cole held a committal Thursday at Maple Grove Cemetery in Comstock Township south of Grand Rapids. A memorial service followed at a Richland church.

"She was my best friend until I was 12 years old and then I spent 34 years without her, not knowing where she is," Cole's sister, Jeanie Phelps said after Thursday's services. "It was a struggle."

Carol Ann Cole's father, Danny Cole, and sister Jeanie Phelps embrace at Maple Grove Cemetery on Thursday in Kalamazoo. A memorial service was held to remember Carol Ann Cole, the young Michigan woman whose remains were identified this year after being found in Louisiana in 1981.

She placed a note in a box with the remains. It read: "I love you sister. I haven't forgotten you and never will."

Phelps had been raising money for a funeral since identification was made this year in the "Bossier Doe" case.

Cole moved from Kalamazoo to Texas with her mother in 1979. She was 17 when she disappeared in December 1980. Her body was found in January 1981 in a wooded area in Bossier Parish. She had been stabbed nine times.

The case was unsolved and she became known as "Bossier Doe."

Cole's family got in touch with authorities in Louisiana less than a week after investigators created a Facebook page for the case in February. The page was topped with a composite drawing of what she might have looked like.

"It feels good that she is found. We don't have to wonder anymore. She is in heaven," aunt Tammy Cole said.

The Bossier Parish sheriff's office sent flowers to the family for the memorial and a promise to continue searching for Carol Ann Cole's killer, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

One person of interest is serving a life sentence in Louisiana for a separate murder conviction.