Oklahoma man charged with murder in 1988 cold case

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man has been indicted in the death of a woman whose remains were discovered in a river in the northeast part of the state almost 30 years ago.

On Thursday, the state’s multicounty grand jury charged James Ray Vogel, 55, of Muskogee with first-degree murder in the 1988 death of Jeanette Ellen Coleman, 31, The Oklahoman reported . Vogel was also charged with two felony counts of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses and perjury.

Grand jurors alleged that Vogel conspired with others to commit criminal offenses for years and accused him of lying during his testimony in July regarding Coleman’s death. No one else has been charged in the case.

Prosecutor Jack Thorp said good police work and an important witness coming forward led to the indictment.

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“The investigation is ongoing,” Thorp said.

Vogel was arrested Friday and is being held in the Cherokee County jail. Attorney information for Vogel isn’t available.

Fishermen discovered Coleman’s remains in the Neosho River below the Fort Gibson Dam in Cherokee County on May 7, 1988. Investigators concluded she had drowned after being thrown in the water while tied to a 28-pound cement block.

Her identity wasn’t determined until 2015.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com