Yesterday, police arrested a man suspected of killing 18 year old NJ resident, Jennifer Moore. Moore had been missing since Tuesday morning, but calls still were being made from her cellphone. Police questioned those being called and were led to Draymond Coleman, who was at an SRO in upper Manhattan. After questioning Coleman, the police found Moore's body in a dumpster in West New York, NJ, and the crime scene in a Weehawken, NJ motel nearby - the Park Avenue Hotel, which the Daily News describes as squalid. A tape from the motel showed Coleman and Moore entering the motel, and police say Coleman beat and strangled Moore, stuffed Moore's body into a duffel bag for disposal. It seems that Coleman also tried to remove his DNA evidence from her, by clipping her nails and swabbing her body with alcohol. Police believe Moore put up a fight; the Bergen Record writes, "The scene inside the room was so gruesome, [a detective] said, that he passed on viewing the body." Coleman will be extradited to NJ. His prior record includes a drug selling offense.
Moore had been missing since Tuesday morning. A night of clubbing and drinking with her 18 year old friend, Tara Keenan, ended at the NYPD impound lot at Pier 76, with the two girls trying to get Keenan's car released. From the NY Times:
But tow lot attendants refused to give Ms. Keenan the car because she appeared to be intoxicated, the police said. Ms. Keenan then passed out, collapsing, and the attendants called for an ambulance. The lot workers also called officers to the scene because another apparently inebriated woman, who was not with Ms. Moore and Ms. Keenan, was there trying to retrieve her car and was becoming ill, the authorities said.
Ms. Moore went to use the tow lot’s bathroom. About 3 a.m., just before the ambulance arrived and with officers there attending to the two ill women, Ms. Moore apparently left the bathroom, slipped by all the authorities and simply walked off unnoticed, the police said.
An impound attendant tells the Daily News that Moore "was toasted. The state she was in, anybody could have taken advantage of her." The attendant added that Keenan only realized that Moore was missing when she was in the ambulance and tried calling her. Moore's last call was to her boyfriend and she said there was a guy following her. The NY Times has a map of Moore's last hours and the Daily News has a timeline.
Guest House, the West 27th Street club where Moore and Keenan were last partying, is cooperating with authorities; though it's unclear how the two underage girls got in, the club may not be fined for serving someone under 21, because the drinks were purchased by an adult. The NY Times has an article about the dangers of partying in the city - especially alone and especially when alcohol is involved. While there are comments about kids from NJ or Connecticut or Long Island coming to the city and not knowing what they're getting in for, what bothers us much, much more is that teens everywhere are just trying to emulate their favorite underage celebrities who go clubbing while dressed provocatively. A commenter just made a good point about self-restraint being needed as well - we agree wholeheartedly.
The police were fortunate to find Coleman through the cell phone use. What's sad is that there have been no leads or breaks like that in case of Chanel Petro-Nixon, a Brooklyn teen who disappeared while walking in Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon (to go apply for a job) and whose body was found days later. Her family and the community are trying desperately to find people who know something.