Man Charged In 2004 Cold Case Murder Of College Student Whose Half Naked Body Was Found In Abandoned Warehouse

(Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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A Louisiana man has been charged with the 2004 murder of a college student whose half naked body was found abandoned in a warehouse in Texas, police said.

Alexandria Police arrested 43-year-old David Anthony Burns of Boyce, Louisiana, Tuesday afternoon in connection with the murder of Courtney Coco. Burns was charged with second degree murder, according to police.

The indictment alleges Burns killed Coco during the “perpetration and attempted perpetration of a simple robbery … even though he had no specific intent to kill and inflict great bodily harm,” according to The Town Talk.

The case received renewed interest after NBC’s Dateline did a segment on Coco’s death and a true-crime podcast “Real Life Real Crime” covered Coco’s story.

Coco’s mother, Stephanie Coco, received a call from an Alexandria Police officer on Oct. 4, 2004 reporting Coco’s partially-clothed body was found in an abandoned Texas warehouse, according to NBC News. Coco was a student at Northwestern State University majoring in criminal investigation, according to the report. (RELATED: Police Identify Body Of Woman 45 Years Later As Wife Of Cop Who Never Reported Her Missing)

Coco’s body was decomposed and a cause of death could not be determined, although police ruled her death a homicide, according to the report. A week after her body was found, Coco’s vehicle was found in Houston, Texas with her white lab coat and other belongings still inside, according to NBC News.

The individuals who had Coco’s car were questioned but investigators would not comment whether they were involved in her death, according to the report.

Coco’s family released a statement thanking authorities for their work for the past 16-years.

“We have waited 16 agonizing years for this day to come,” the family said. “Our family would like to thank Woody Overton with Real Life Real Crime for investigating Courtney’s case when it was listed as a Cold Case and not being worked. He then solved her murder in only 7 short weeks & turned over his findings to Alexandria Police Department.”