NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

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NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:36 am

LIMA — While the news Krista Coppler has waited nearly 13 years to get was sad, it brought solace knowing the young girl the family knew as Nicholle finally was coming home.

“I knew in my heart it was Nicholle,” Krista Coppler said Saturday. “Now, we want to bring her home and lay her to rest.”

Coppler and her family were at a press conference in which Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin announced the remains found earlier this month at a Lima home were identified as missing teenager Nicholle Coppler. Coppler was 14 when she disappeared in 1999. She was last seen at the home of Glen Fryer at 735 S. Elizabeth St., where police found her skeleton after the house was demolished and while the foundation was being dug out.

“I knew in my heart she never left that house,” Krista Coppler said.

Diana Coppler, Nicholle's grandmother, said the identification of Nicholle's remains confirmed what the family feared all along.

“I'm glad that we have an answer now,” Diana Coppler said.

Almost all of Coppler's skeleton was found during the recovery effort that stretched over three days. She was found buried beneath a crawl space. She was identified using dental records, Allen County Coroner Gary Beasley said.

Fryer was the chief suspect in Coppler's disappearance after she was last seen at his house in the weeks that followed her disappearance.

Fryer, 55, committed suicide in 2002 while being held in the Allen County Jail awaiting sentencing for raping a 12-year-old girl. He had agreed to tell police what he knew of Coppler's disappearance but took his own life days before the meeting.

With the discovery of Coppler's body, the case becomes an active and open homicide investigation, Martin said. He vowed to pursue anyone who had a role in Nicholle's death.

“Our goal is still the same: Try to get to the truth,” he said. “Where exactly that will lead us I cannot say.”

Martin acknowledge finding Nicholle's remains really just creates a lot more questions than answers, but he said police would not stop until they exhausted all efforts to answer those questions, no matter the cost.

“We are not going to be bean counters when it comes to justice,” Martin said.

Martin declined to release the scenario detectives believe led to Coppler's death because of the pending investigation.

In the meantime, the chief said he hopes the family can have some closure.

Krista Coppler said finding her daughter's body was the first phase of closure, but there would not be a second and complete phase until anyone connected to her daughter's death was brought to justice.

Justice may include charging people connected to human trafficking, to which police said Fryer had a link. Police also said other people knew Nicholle was in the house. Whether they had information on her death remains to be told. Lima Police Maj. Richard Shade said at least two people other than Fryer were living at the home.

There have been no arrests connected to Nicholle's disappearance, although police have talked to 179 people who may have had information, Shade said.

“I feel the trafficking, what has been exposed on the trafficking, if that all can be dismantled or girls can be saved, I think it also will be attributed to Nicholle,” Diana Coppler said.

Lt. Jim Baker, who supervises the detective bureau, said charges may come, but it could take some time. He has two detectives on the case.

“We fully believe Fryer was involved in her death but believe there were other people,” Baker said.

Nicholle's remains have not been returned to the family. Beasley said the skeleton is at the Lucas County Coroner's Office in Toledo for further examination by forensic anthropologist to try to learn how she died.

“We're looking for the cause and manner,” he said.

Officials said establishing a date of death may be nearly impossible given the amount of time that passed.

Beasley said dental records made it clear the remains were Nicholle's.

Martin also addressed criticism on why police were unable to find Nicholle's remains during earlier searches of the Fryer home. While they used cadaver dogs and the FBI brought in ground-penetrating radar, both were used to their full capabilities. Even though such technologies exist, Martin said, they have limitations.

The big break came when the state of Ohio took possession of Fryer's home because of unpaid taxes and the city decided to tear down the safety hazard. City officials notified detectives of the planned demolition, which they attended in case any human remains were found, Martin said.

At the request of police, the demolition crew dug up the entire lot looking for other remains, but Coppler's were the only ones found, police said.

Shade also made a personal plea for anyone with information to call police. In a rare measure, he gave out his direct line 419-221-5268 for the public to reach him personally without going through the switchboard. They also may call 419-227-4444.

Numerous people have come forward with false information, whether they knew it or not, Shade said. That bad information led police to dig at numerous sites in the area as well as spend an untold number of hours chasing false leads, he said.

Diana Coppler said false informations over the years was hard to deal with.

“The hardest part was not knowing exactly what happened to her. Stories came to us over the years and we based a lot of our belief in the stories. Usually, all the stories did come up incorrect,” she said.

Some people even came to the family saying Nicholle was alive, the grandmother said.

“We all did feel that she definitely was gone for many years. As her brothers married and had children, we knew if she was alive, she would be coming home,” she said.

The false tips put the family on a long roller coaster ride of emotions, Diana Coppler said.

“It was because we knew, if she still was alive, she was being held against her will and that was devastating,” she said.

Diana Coppler said she hopes anyone with information would come forward regardless of what they may have said in the past.

“So the whole story can be found and I just hope people will be honest to themselves and honest to the facts that are going to come out in the future,” Diana Coppler said.

While the Coppler family has been critical of police, especially when nothing was initially done, Diana Coppler said she now believes police are doing a good job.

Krista Coppler said beyond bringing her daughter home, she just wants answers.

“Why? We believe we know, but it is under investigation,” she said.

She believes her daughter realized she made a mistake running away from home and wanted to return, but Fryer wouldn't let her.

“I think she found out the things that were going on and stood up for herself. She was always the kind who had to have the last word,” she said.

Krista Coppler also believes her daughter died in the weeks or months after her disappearance.

“I had to look at it as God probably took her when he did verses what she may have had to go through,” she said.

While she now lives in Florida, partially because of the aftermath associated with her daughter's disappearance, she said she plans to be in Lima for a while. Her other daughter and five sons live here, she said.

Krista Coppler said if she can see any good come out of her daughter's death, it is the change in police policy on runaways.

“The investigation, in the beginning, we don't feel was handled right. Now, what's come about with the changes on how they handle it, was because of Nicholle,” she said. “If, in Nicholle's name, she can save some other girls, some good can come out of this.”

In 1999, the family couldn't get police to help for more than a year after Coppler's disappearance. Martin recognized reports weren't always taken back then, but said that is not the case today.

Lima police now immediately take a report and assign an officer. The officer chases leads and the missing person is entered into a national database within 24 hours. Dental records are obtained and the public is notified. Many of those changes are part of new state law, Martin said.

“We have made improvements. Unfortunately, it does not help Nicholle,” Martin said.

Krista Coppler urged parents who find themselves in the same situation as she did nearly 13 years ago to be aggressive in trying to get their child help and returned home. That includes seeking help beyond the police department.

“Make sure you have a detective who cares and who will help you and stand by you and listen to you,” she said.

Funeral arrangements are being made for Nicholle, but a final announcement will not come until Nicholle's remains are released to the family. Beasley had no idea how long that would take, but others suggested it would be a few weeks.
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Re: NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

Post by twinkletoes on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:24 pm

Remains of Ohio girl missing since 1999 found in crawl space

LIMA, Ohio

The skeletal remains of a 14-year-old Ohio runaway who went missing in
1999 have been found after the home where she was last seen was
demolished, according to police.

The Lima News reports that Lima
police on Saturday said the remains of Nicholle Coppler were found in a
crawl space as the home's foundation was being dug out. Allen County
Coroner Gary Beasley said they were identified through dental records.

The home was owned by Glen Fryer, who had been suspected in Coppler's
death. The newspaper reports he was 55 when he killed himself in 2002
while awaiting sentencing for raping a girl.

The home was demolished after the state took possession due to unpaid taxes. Coppler's remains were the only ones found.

"I knew in my heart it was Nicholle," said the girl's mother, Krista
Coppler, who now lives Florida. "I knew in my heart she never left that

Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin said
the discovery means the homicide investigation is reopened. The
newspaper reports that police have said Fryer had a link to human

"Our goal is still the same: Try to get to the truth," Martin said. "Where exactly that will lead us I cannot say."

Lt. Jim Baker said detectives believe Fryer was involved in the death but that there
also were other people. Police said other people knew the girl was in
the house, and Lima police Maj. Richard Shade said at least two other
people lived in the home with Fryer.

Krista Coppler said she doesn't feel the investigation was handled properly in
1999 but that police have since changed policy on runaways.

"If, in Nicholle's name, she can save some other girls, some good can come out of this," she said.
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Re: NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:35 am

LIMA — Forensic anthropologists were unable to determine a cause of
death for a teenager whose remains were found last month, Allen County
Coroner Gary Beasley said Tuesday.

“The anthropologists checked it over very, very carefully and didn't find anything,” Beasley said.

were looking for possible clues into how 14-year-old Nicholle Coppler
died but an examination of her skeletal remains revealed nothing,
Beasley said..

Investigators were looking for possible clues into how 14-year-old
Nicholle Coppler died but an examination of her skeletal remains
revealed nothing, Beasley said.

The exam
included cleaning the remains and a carefully searching for any signs of
trauma, such as broken bones or tool marks, that could shed light on a
cause of death, officials said.

remains were found buried at 735 S. Elizabeth St., the last place she
was known to be alive. The remains were found after the house was
demolished and the yard was dug up. The home's former resident, Glen
Fryer, was the chief suspect in her death but killed himself in jail in
2002 while awaiting sentencing for the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

that the examination of Coppler's remains are complete, her family has
scheduled her funeral for 11 a.m. Saturday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede
Funeral Home. Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

death remains a homicide and is an active case at the Lima Police
Department. While Fryer is dead, investigators will look into the
possibility someone else played a role in her death or has information
about it.

Beasley said it's possible they may never determine a cause of death or a time of death.

“If it's learned it won't be from the autopsy. It will be from the investigation,” he said.

ran away from home May 15, 1999, but was reported to be alive for a
couple of weeks after that inside Fryer's home. Investigators found her
diary with her writings from days after she ran away and had accounts
from people associated with Fryer that she had been inside the house
after the date she disappeared.

officials have said Fryer was connected to human trafficking and they
expect to file charges in the near future against people connected with

Since Coppler disappeared, investigators
have interviewed 179 people about her case, Lima Police Maj. Richard
Shade said last month after the remains were identified using Coppler's
dental records.

Investigators were able to
search Fryer's old house, which the state of Ohio took possession of
because of unpaid taxes. The city decided to tear it down saying it was a
safety hazard. When the demolition was scheduled, police officials were
notified and Coppler's remains finally were found.

mother, Krista Coppler, had long believed her daughter was dead and
wanted to at least give her a proper burial. She has said after Nicholle
is laid to rest, she will focus her energy on achieving justice for
Nicholle, if it's possible.
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Re: NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:34 pm

Thirteen years since they last saw 14-year-old Nicholle Coppler, the
Lima, Ohio, girl's family finally will lay her to rest Saturday.

Though not the outcome they'd hoped and prayed for, her memorial
service -- after all these years -- is a comfort to Krista Coppler, who
never gave up the search for her missing daughter.

"I know where she is now. She's home," said Mrs. Coppler, who now
lives in Jacksonville, Fla. "The longer anybody's missing, you know the
chances narrow that they will be found, but the not knowing where she
is, what she could be doing -- now at least I know this part of the chapter is closed."

On Feb. 8, Lima police found Nicholle's skeletal remains in the
crawlspace of a South Elizabeth Street home that once belonged to Glenn
Fryer -- the prime suspect in her disappearance. Dental records
confirmed her identity, although a forensic exam completed this week was inconclusive.

Mrs. Coppler said not a day has passed, and she doubt one ever will,
when she did not think about Nicholle, the fourth of her six children.

"I know where she is. I know God has been watching over her. I
believe that God took her when he did to protect her from what was to
come," Mrs. Coppler said slowly. "In all reality, he was protecting her."

An examination of Nicholle's remains by the Lucas County Coroner's
Office showed no evidence of any abnormalities of the skeletal remains,
meaning no fractures, no signs of trauma, said Dr. Gary Beasley, Allen County coroner.

"It will be declared a homicide and the cause will be 'unspecified
homicidal violence/skeletal remains,' " Dr. Beasley said. "At this point
in time, it's an ongoing investigation by Lima Police Department."

Nicholle was last seen with Fryer in May, 1999, and when, two years
later, he was arrested on rape and child pornography charges involving
four area girls, police searched his home and found some personal items
belonging to Nicholle. Fryer entered into a plea agreement on the
charges with the condition he cooperate on the Coppler investigation,
but in February, 2002 he hanged himself in the Allen County jail before
ever saying what happened to the 14-year-old.

"I felt all along she was there," Mrs. Coppler said. "With all the
stories -- she was seen in California. She was seen in Kentucky -- no.
She never left that house. I knew it. I never had the tangible evidence
to say she wasn't out in Texas or Tennessee or Kentucky or any of the
other rumors, but I knew as a mother she never left that house."

Lima Police Det. Steve Stechschulte said investigators had searched
the two-story, wood-frame house before, once using ground-penetrating
radar, with no success. Last month, the house was being demolished after
the state took possession for unpaid back taxes and police, working
with the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and
Investigation, were able to find her remains.

He said investigators are in the process of re-interviewing everyone
they spoke with over the years as well as some new names that have come
to their attention.

"At this point we believe that things indicate that [Fryer] was a
large contributor -- whether he was the only one or not, we're not sure
yet," he said. "...There's a lot of work to do."

For now, with the forensic exam completed, Mrs. Coppler, her husband,
Keith, and the couple's surviving daughter and four sons, can finally
give Nicholle a proper burial.

"We will lay her to rest in a place where all the family -- her
siblings -- can go visit," Mrs. Coppler said. "It's not left out there
to wonder, is she in trouble? Where is she? That kind of thing."

She said her daughter's disappearance had a lasting impact on her
family. She and her husband were overprotective of their other children,
often not allowing them to go places or do things with friends. They
are grown now and have their own children -- the Copplers have 13
grandchildren -- and she sees them showing the same caution with their children.

She said she still hopes for justice for her daughter.

"I think eventually, I may not get every answer, but I will get even
more of a sense of closure at least if I know who was involved," Mrs.
Coppler said. "Will I ever get a true answer of exactly what happened?
Probably not, but maybe we'll get justice."
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Re: NICHOLLE COPPLER - 14 yo (1999) - Lima OH

Post by mom_in_il on Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:18 pm

Remembrance service held for homicide victims

Last updated: September 27. 2014 8:53PM
By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — It was a solemn atmosphere as more than 120 people filled a room in the basement of Crime Victim Services on Elizabeth Street, some carrying framed photos of murdered loved ones.

Crime Victim Services held a memorial service Saturday to honor the memory of local homicide victims while also dedicating 48 bricks engraved with the names of these victims in a renovated Homicide Memorial Garden at the front of the building.

“In 1999, the YWCA started this event,” victim advocate Phyllis Neff said. “They had additional events in 2000 and 2005, then we got the bricks around 2009. They laid up front very silently for a while.”

The garden was rejuvenated thanks to the efforts of LaKrisha Freytag, whose fiancé, Tavares Meeks, was murdered Dec. 20, 2012, on Dingledine Avenue. Freytag held a fundraiser after his death, hoping to give their children some happy memories related to their father.

“It’s mainly just because he was murdered five days before Christmas,” she said. “Our children were 3 and 6 at the time, so it makes Christmas a bad time of the year now. So I wanted something for them to remember their dad by and make it a happy time. So I did a benefit to raise money and to remind the community that his murder is still unsolved.”

Freytag then considered what to do with the money she had raised. She then remembered Crime Victim Services and made contact with Neff.

“I asked her to give me a number for the bricks as to how much it would be,” Freytag said. “She called me and said that she went to Bob Johns and he would donate all of the bricks and the engraving. Another family also sent in an anonymous donation, so we were able to pay to have a nice sign made and to have it landscaped.”

During the service, family members of the victims placed carnation blossoms on their loved one’s brick, many choking up or shedding tears. Krista Coppler made the journey from Jacksonville, Florida, to honor the memory of her daughter, Nicholle, whose remains were discovered in 2012 after the home where she had last been seen was demolished.

“It was very emotional today,” she said. “It was a very good response. Especially with the unsolved cases, we want to keep the memory alive.”

The murder of Nicholle Coppler is still unsolved, but having these times to honor her memory help her mother as she continues to wait for justice, hopeful that anyone with information will come forward.

“It’s another waiting game,” she said. “It’s still an active investigation with the FBI and the Lima Police Department. They are eventually going to make an arrest. They have an idea as to who the players were, and they will be brought to justice and I’ll be able to face them.”

Neff is hopeful that this garden will continue to bring to the forefront the anguish experienced by families of homicide victims.

“These families just want to know that the community has not forgotten their loved ones,” she said. “Homicide is a very dreadful thing, and we want to remember and support these people.”
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