Nicholle Coppler probably found

The police have located human remains in a crawl space at the former home of Glen Fryer, the prime suspect in the thirteen-year-old disappearance of Nicholle Coppler from Lima, Ohio. Fryer hanged himself in jail in 2002, just after he pleaded guilty to an unrelated rape charge.

Authorities believe Nicholle, who was 14 at the time she went missing, ran away from home at first, then Fryer prevented her from returning and either killed her or forced her into prostitution (or both). Obviously, right now they’re leaning towards the “he killed her” theory.

This article from last month talks about the case and about human trafficking and teen prostitution in general. A friend of mine told me he knew a girl who’d been forced into prostitution in Nevada and had met Nicholle out there, but I didn’t give much credence to the story.

This case touches me more than most because my old stomping grounds are in Lima. I have gone to Ohio State University at Lima off and on since I was fourteen, my father worked at the university for 37 years and now lives in an apartment downtown, and I have driven on Elizabeth Street (where Fryer’s house is) many a time. Probably passed that house scores of times.

Article on the Nicholle Coppler case

I found a new article about the disappearance of Nicholle Coppler; May 19 will be the ten-year anniversary of her disappearance. She may have run away initially, but the cops think she was forced into prostitution and may very well be dead. The article talks about the Coppler case and also how the Lima police deal with suspected runaways.

The Coppler case hits close to home for me — literally. Lima (pronounced like the bean, not the Peruvian city) is the nearest city of any size to my own rural Ohio village, and my father works there. I used to commute there several times a week when I was taking classes at Ohio State. I’ve been on Elizabeth Street many times. It’s a kind of rough neighborhood.

As for Nicholle, I hope she’s alive. She might be. I’ve heard some rumors to that effect, that she’s alive and living in Las Vegas or somewhere. But it seems like she would have gotten in touch with her family by now if she could have.