Family members are speaking out about the revelation that Carol Ann Cole's name was excluded as Bossier Doe years ago based on the coroner's finding there were "numerous differences" between the unidentified murder victim and the missing teen from Michigan.
During a news conference in late February Jeanie Phelps thanked Bossier Sheriff's Office for identifying Bossier Doe as her sister Carol Ann Cole.
Today she's still grateful.
“I have all the confidence in [Detective] Shannon Mack, she has gone above and beyond and she's done a hell of a job going back and checking 35 years,” said Jeanie Phelps, Carol Ann Cole's sister who lives in Michigan.
Investigators had gathered more than a hundred names back then and Carol Ann was one of them, but according to the Bossier Sheriff's Office it was excluded by then Coroner George McComrick for what he called "numerous differences."
“Yeah, the vagueness is very confusing and disturbing,” said Phelps.
And considering the solid match by DNA decades later, Phelps can't help but wonder what if the name had been double checked?
“That could have given me closure 35 years ago. And that saddens me that my grandmother who searched for her she passed away in 2000, she spent the last 19 years of her life wondering what happened to Carol Ann,” said Phelps.
The Bossier Sheriff's Office believes the name Carol Ann was given to them by her grandmother during a phone call, before Bossier Doe was even discovered.
“In the late 80's I was in touch with Shreveport police because that's where I last knew she was, Why didn't they do some cross checking?” asks Phelps.
Those are questions that will continue to haunt Phelps as she looks for ways to deal with the conflicting emotions: relief for finally finding out what happened to her sister, and frustration that it took so long.