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Austin Police release last known video of woman found dead to aid investigation

This is the last known video of Nicole Coleman, who was found dead in East Austin last month. (Photo/video: Austin Police Department)

The Austin Police Department has released the last known video of a woman found dead in East Austin on New Year's Eve in an effort to help the investigation into her killing.

23-year-old Nicole Diane Coleman was found dead just after 5:30 p.m. on December 31st in the woods on Ed Bluestein Rd about a mile south of Hwy 290.

"It's just decimated our family," her grandmother, Jillian Wheeler said.

She says the weeks following her murder have been a nightmare for the family who still doesn't have answers about the person who brutally murdered and left her bare body dumped in a wooded area.

"It's difficult to even put words together to describe it," Wheeler said. "You just took away the future from a young 23-year-old woman."

Austin homicide detectives say a passerby found Coleman's body on New Year's Eve and called police, but the days leading to her death remain a mystery.

"Through the course of the investigating we determined she recently moved here two months ago from the Houston area," said APD Homicide Detective Patrick O'Farrell.

Coleman had been in Austin receiving mental health treatment and had been released before she disappeared.

Though some questions remain unanswered, Wheeler is hopeful the surveillance video will help bring their family closure.

"We just want people to know Nicole is much more than a crime victim, much more than a girl with mental illness -- she was brilliant and funny and a wonderful writer," Wheeler said. "Just the totality of who she was was bigger than any one aspect of her life."

The Travis County Medical Examiner has ruled this death a homicide. The manner of death is being withheld for investigative purposes.

During a press conference, APD preliminarily ruled out a connection between the death of Coleman and a nearby sexual assault.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.

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