Janie Coe passed away 24 years ago. Bay Area police have just found new evidence.


On April 29, 1997, Janie June Coe interviewed. The 38-year-old mother of three lived on Penrod Drive in Petaluma and, after completing the interview, returned home around 3 p.m.

It was there that she was last seen.

On May 2, after failing to pick up her children while staying with her father in Marin County, she was reported missing. For the past 24 years, police have searched for the missing mother – and now a breakdown in the case has come thanks to DNA evidence.

Coe’s disappearance was ominous from the start. Three hours after her last sight, an unidentified woman driving a 1978-1982 Ford Mustang used Coe’s ATM card at the West America Bank in Petaluma. The transaction was caught on surveillance cameras, but the video is too grainy to distinguish the woman or the car’s license plate.

Coe’s 1989 Ford Aerostar pickup truck was found abandoned near a field on Windsor Street in Napa three days after it went missing. Police at the time said she had friends in Napa, but none of them had been contacted by her recently. She reportedly “didn’t like to travel far from home” and left behind the glasses and contact lenses she needed to drive.

Janie June Coe’s 1989 Ford Aerostar was found abandoned in Napa on May 5, 1997.

Petaluma Police Department / Document

“Janie’s children have not heard from her since her disappearance,” the Petaluma Police Department said in a statement. “Twenty-five years later, new DNA evidence has emerged of Janie’s disappearance.”

Police did not provide further details on the nature of the DNA evidence or where it was obtained. But the lead is large enough that the Petaluma Police Department issues a press release seeking new information on the case. “New DNA evidence has been discovered in some of the evidence that was collected during the original investigation,” the department said. “This has led to further contact with witnesses and leads to investigation as detectives continue to follow this active investigation.”

Janie June Coe, 38, went missing on April 29, 1997 from Petaluma, Calif.

Janie June Coe, 38, went missing on April 29, 1997 from Petaluma, Calif.

Petaluma Police Department / Document

The press release also included an image of Coe, who would be 63 today, based on age.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Corie Joerger at 707-778-4456.



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