Cold Case: Catherine Copley

Altoona, Blair County, Pa - A little over two years ago, an  Altoona woman went missing.  About six months later, her body turned up in a garage in the city. She'd been murdered. Her family says they still don't know what really happened to her.

In a special cold case report, WTAJ News takes a look at the effort to find the killer of Catherine Copley.

Catherine Boob and her daughter Catherine Copley  last spoke  the night of  December 10th, 2015, making plans to get together the next day. That same evening around 10 pm, 29-year-old Catherine was last seen alive  getting into a car on 4th Street and Crawford Avenue in Altoona.

When, she didn't show up on Friday, and missed a Sunday appointment with her children,  the family called police and Catherine was listed  as a missing endangered person.

Her mother says, "It's so weird. I have not slept in my bed for two years because those were the last I knew where my daughter was."

The Boobs  posted fliers throughout the city and searched the area where she went missing.

"We searched and we searched and there was things going on in my mind and my heart hoping that she was alive," her mother remembers.

Nearly six months later, a body was discovered in the garage of a condemned home along the 400 block of East Pleasant Valley Boulevard. Police spent hours collecting potential evidence  with the county coroner and district attorney also on the scene.

Catherine's tattoos helped authorities identify her  body...

Catherine Boob says, "It's been like living in a nightmare that you never wake up from and the thought in my mind did she ever suffer, what was her last words, what did she feel like."
"I just cannot imagine that somebody would throw her in a garage and leave here there to rot like a rotten animal."

Lieutenant Jeffrey Pratt says the Altoona Police also took the case personally.

"You think to yourself there's this person or persons out there that committed this horrible act, that put this family through untold grief and in the times that she was missing no on knew her fate," he says.

At the time, police released very little information about how Catherine died or  the progress of the  investigation. Pratt says the reason for the silence is the concern that giving away information could compromise the investigation. But he does say that two detectives are assigned to the case and that it continues to be open and active

"There have been an exhaustive amount of interviews with Catherine's friends, family acquaintances, members of the public that may have lived in that geographical area of the county where Cathy went missing, so I think the department has gone through volumes of investigative work to find out what happened to Cathy, feeling a sense of responsibility to her family," he adds.

Back in October 2016, police arrested Michael Copley, Catherine's husband for failing to pay fines for a criminal mischief charge, Police say he was tearing down missing persons signs of Catherine. His plea in court was not guilty.

He's not been named as a suspect in her death and no one's been charged with the murder.

Her mother says, "Right now there is a hole in our heart that is vile. It is not going to close because this is going on every single day of our lives. We feel that we know she's up in heaven with God, but we feel that we have to have our answers down here too."

The family frequently visits the garage where Catherine's body was found. Her mother feels her daughter's presence there.

Pratt says he understands their frustration and their desire for closure, but he can't yet give them the closure that they need.

"In order to successfully prosecute someone for something like this you go before a jury or a judge and you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so for those persons out there who think that they know or to a high likelihood that they have the case solved in their own mind, we need probable cause with which to arrest but proof beyond a  reasonable doubt is another burden of proof in its entirety," he explains.

Both police and the Boobs hope that efforts like this to renew public interest in the case can help move it forward.

Lieutenant Pratt made this plea:"If any of your viewers out there listening to this think that they have a piece that would help our investigators finally close the chapter on the catherine copley investigation, i would urge them to come forward and contact the Altoona Police Department and share that information with us, no matter how insignificant or inconsequential they think that information may be. It could be several pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that we need to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion."

Catherine Boob says people had stopped by her daughter's house, the night she went missing, for a party, and she believes someone who was there, knows something. "If you know what has happened to my daughter, then please do the right thing and come forward," she urges.

Call the Altoona Police Department at (814) 949-2498, if you have any information about the disappearance or murder of Catherine Copley.


Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center