Her daughter was murdered in a Richmond alley. Four years later, she's still searching for answers.

Posted at 8:50 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 15:34:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In May of 2018, a 21-year-old woman was shot to death in a Richmond alley. Her case has now gone cold.

On that fateful May day, Sarah Coles spent the day shopping with her daughter Desiree Fletcher at Willow Lawn. Desiree was set to start a new job the next day.

The two parted ways, hours later saying the normal 'I love you' and 'talk to you later'. Instead, it would later be detectives knocking on Sarah's door to deliver the horrible news.

"Everybody said, she was cool. She liked to be around a lot of people, she likes to have fun. And it's just that I never thought that somebody could, you know, do this to her because she was so loving, everybody loved her," Sarah said.

Desiree was found off Peter Paul Boulevard in a field with multiple gunshot wounds, one of those wounds being to her head.

Detectives told Jon Burkett that Desiree was living with her cousin when she died. Her boyfriend would come to the cousin's house to take Desiree's phone.

Later on that night, he texted from Desiree's phone to the cousin's phone to let her know that he had the phone and that Desiree should come meet him.

"When she got out of the shower, my cousin said sat on the bed for a minute and then she got up and that she was going to get her phone. But she never came back," Sarah said.

"There was an incident the following day. The person in question, the boyfriend, was supposedly abducted and found over near Gillies Creek in the Bottom area of the city. He claimed to have been in the car but it was later found out that's not the case, that I don't believe that's the case, I believe that was staged," retired Richmond detective Joseph Fultz said.

There were a few red flags that were raised in the case that next day when the boyfriend said he was tied up in the trunk of a car.

That story would go on to evolve and change.

The boyfriend allegedly tried to pin the abduction on a man who investigators later discovered was in a wheelchair. They determined it was impossible for this man to pull off the murder.

"The Commonwealth's Attorney said that they don't want to take it to court and they don't have enough evidence," Sarah said. "I miss my daughter so much. I know there is somebody out there that saw something or heard something. I just hope that they just find the guy."

Re-examining unsolved cases. CBS 6 Crime Insider Jon Burkett has partnered with the Reopen the Case Foundation to highlight cold cases in Virginia with the hope that someone will see the story and provide police with the information investigators need to make an arrest.