Family: Henrico woman charged with 2nd degree murder of boyfriend's son

Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 2:41 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2017 at 8:45 AM EDT
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Martré Coles (Source: Family)
Martré Coles (Source: Family)

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico Police say a missing teen is dead and a woman is under arrest for killing him. 19-year-old Martre Coles was reported missing a month ago, but on Tuesday, police announced they charged 38-year-old Denise Gay with second degree murder in his death.

Relatives say Gay had been dating Coles' dad.

Since March 12, loved ones have been searching frantically for Coles. His girlfriend, Ashlyn Knight, said she talked to him that day and that Coles was getting help from his father's girlfriend, Denise Gay, on a project for an art school in Florida.

"He told me he would be right back, and that was the last thing he ever said to me," says Knight. "He never came back."

The family says a missing persons report was filed with Henrico Police. Weeks later, Gay is now charged with second degree murder in Cole's death.

Knight feels like police could have done more.

"It just really hurts," she said. "It's so new and everything just happened yesterday."

Police are releasing very little information. Family says his body was found, but police won't say where. An arrest warrant for Gay indicates the murder happened sometime between March 12 and April 2.

Loved one say Coles and Gay lived in a home in the 200 block of North Ivy Avenue with other family members.

A neighbor says that he saw officers execute a search warrant at the home last Monday. He says that police blocked off the street and that officers brought out bags of evidence. The search warrant is sealed.

"Before this all happened, they seemed to have gotten along really well," says Knight about the relationship between Coles and his father's girlfriend. "But I think that was just a fake persona she was trying to pull off before she did what she did."

Now Knight is left with just memories of her high school sweetheart.

"He was very artistic," she said. "He was very nice. He always made people happy."

The search warrant also says there is a co-defendant in that case, but so far charges against other people have not been filed.

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