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Investigator found dead in Bay Area creek bed was strangled

OAKLAND — Alameda County Coroner's officials say a federal criminal investigator whose decomposed body was found in a dry creek bed in Northern California was strangled.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1gDDibI) the official cause of Sandra Coke's death was asphyxia and compression of the neck. Coroner's officials did not say how long they believe she had been dead before her body was discovered.

Prosecutors have charged Coke's former boyfriend, 56-year-old Randy Alana, with murder. Alana, a convicted felon, is accused of killing the 50-year-old Coke and stealing her car and account information in August.

Police have said Coke and Alana dated briefly about 20 years ago. Coke was an investigator with the Sacramento branch of the Federal Public Defender's Office.

She vanished after leaving her Oakland home Aug. 4. Her body was found five days later.

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