Salina McCoy would be 31-years-old now, and had she been given the opportunity to fulfill her teen-aged dream of becoming a cop, she might be investigating cold cases.
Instead, she is tragically the subject of one.
The unsolved 2007 murder of the Columbus teen is the subject of the latest episode of the Oxygen Network true-crime show, “Cold Justice,” now in its sixth season.
The episode, which features former Texas prosecutor Kelly Seigler as she investigates unsolved murders across the country, will air Saturday at 7 p.m.
Declared missing Aug. 4, 2007, Salina McCoy, 17, was found dead by the railroad tracks near Warren Street off Bell Avenue after being missing for 20 days. The case remains unsolved and open. Two ligatures were found around McCoy’s neck, indicating her death was a homicide.
The show’s crew spent a week in Columbus in August, reviewing Columbus Police Department files and conducting interviews, including an interview with McCoy’s father, Danny McCoy, which is featured in a sneak preview of the episode.
During the interview, McCoy said his daughter was an A student, who was a member of the CPD’s Police Explorers Program, a group made up of teens interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement.
“She was a sweet child, a sweet, sweet child,” McCoy said in that interview. “She always talked about being a police officer. She just wanted to grow up and be someone to help her family. I made a promise to her that I”m not going to stop, I’m not going to give up until we get the case solved. I know I’ve got to keep strong for her. She’s my baby.”
Columbus Police chief Fred Shelton said the investigation remains open and has continued to be investigated over the years.
In an interview with The Dispatch in August, Siegler commended the work of the Columbus Police Department in its efforts to solve the case.
“You could tell in 2014 how the police tried very hard again to get something big to break,” Siegler said. “Then they let our show have access another seven years later in 2021. They never quit trying, and they’ve now made three good attempts at this case, so I think no one can fault the Columbus Police Department for their efforts in trying to solve this case.”
Even so, Seigler was hopeful over the prospects of uncovering new information as the show examined her case.
“Most of these cases, I know from reading about them, that they can’t be solved,” she said. “There’s just too much that’s happened that was bad in the first place where they’re never going to be solved, but this was a case where police really thought we had good potential.”
Did the show reveal new information that could potentially solve the 14-year-old murder mystery?
Viewers can tune in Saturday to find out.
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]