Remains of Nicholle Coppler, Missing Runaway, Found in Home of Accused Rapist

Nicholle Coppler, a 14-year-old runaway, disappeared more than a decade ago- and now her family finally has some closure in the sad case.

Coppler disappeared back in 1999, last seen in the company of a 55-year-old man named Glen Fryer. Coppler was last seen on May 15th of that year, and known to have been with Fryer in June before she disappeared. Three years later, Fryer was arrested for the rape of a 12-year-old girl, and had by that point been linked to Coppler’s disappearance.

While in prison, Fryer promised to disclose information about Coppler’s whereabouts, but he hanged himself in a jail cell five days after his arrest. Cadaver dogs then searched Fryer’s home, and while several of Coppler’s personal effects were found- a hair accessory containing her hair, a diary- searches failed to locate Coppler’s remains, and the case went cold.

Police spoke with 179 people who offered information about Coppler’s disappearance in the ten years between Fryer’s death and the discovery of Coppler’s body in a crawl space in the home- and law enforcement officials even linked the accused rapist to human trafficking. But Coppler’s body lay undiscovered until unpaid taxes- not another search- led to the home’s demolition.

When her body was finally located, Coppler’s grandmother said she only hoped the discovery would save other girls from Nicholle’s grim fate. Diana Coppler commented:

“I feel the trafficking, what has been exposed on the trafficking, if that all can be dismantled or girls can be saved, I think it also will be attributed to Nicholle.”

Mom Krista Coppler indicated that she felt the investigation was mishandled in 1999, but adds that police have since changed how cases of runaways are approached.

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