Sacoya Cooper’s family is still desperate to find closure in the missing person case that has run cold. Sacoya has been missing since last year out of North Linden, a neighborhood in northeastern Columbus, Ohio. Richard Harris, Sacoya’s partner would later tell the police,
She left here to go get some bottled water (at a store) and she never showed up. I know she had a text message right before she left, and that's all I know. And she left and never came back.
This is something that she never does. This is unreal.
Sacoya Cooper is a transgender woman who disappeared around 11:30 p.m. on August 31, 2021. She was driving a 2009 Black Ford Fusion, which has yet to be found. She is African American, 5-foot-5, about 145 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black lemonade braids, a black and white summer dress, and black and white Baby Phat sandals.
The Black and Queer Intersectional Collective, or BQIC, is a community organization that advocates for Black LGBTQIA+ people. They have been instrumental in this case with organizing searches and circulating fliers.
Columbus PD’s involvement in the case would not be as thorough. They brush off extortion messages that Richard Harris received as a sick prank. Harris professed that he’d gotten bizarre text messages demanding cash. The messages demanded $7,000 to get her back or $500 just to speak to her.
Harris turned these messages over to the police. The police would continue to brush them off, without further investigation. They even referred to Sacoya by her dead name, Devin M Cooper. Additionally, since they would initially claim that she wasn’t a victim of foul play, they waited a staggering twenty-two days before putting her on the missing person database.
This lackluster response is not uncommon in missing person cases involving minorities. With the lack of immediate response from the police and the case still remaining cold, Harris tries to remain positive. In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch Harris tearfully declared,
You can't do nothing but hope. I mean, I'm not going to give up hope. ...She's a loving person. I love her, I want her home. No matter whatever she's going through, we can work through it.
Columbus Police claims they are continuing to investigate Cooper's disappearance. However, there have been no updates since October of last year. Harris says since Cooper disappeared, her car has not been found, and her social media accounts have not been active. Harris even hinted at her being targeted because she was transgender.
Quest is going to be highlighting stories about missing minorities in the LGBTQIA+ community in celebration of pride month. Anyone with information on this case can call The Special Victim's Bureau at 614-645-2358