(Daily Mail By LOUISE BOYLE) – The skeletal remains of a 14-year-old runaway, who went missing in 1999, have been found after the home where she was last seen was demolished, according to police.
The remains of Nicholle Coppler were found in a crawl space as the home’s foundations were being dug out on Saturday.
The girl, from Ohio, was identified by dental records, according to Allen County Coroner Gary Beasley.
The home in Lima was owned by Glen Fryer, who had been a suspect in Miss Coppler’s disappearance.
Fryer killed himself in 2002 when he was 55, while in prison for the rape of a 12-year-old girl.
The home was demolished after the state took possession due to unpaid taxes. Miss Coppler’s remains were the only ones found.
The girl’s mother Krista Coppler, who now lives in Florida, said: ‘I knew in my heart it was Nicholle.
‘I knew in my heart she never left that house.’
Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin said the discovery meant the homicide investigation has been reopened.
Police said Fryer had also been linked to human trafficking.
Chief Martin said: ‘Our goal is still the same: Try to get to the truth. Where exactly that will lead us I cannot say.’
‘I knew in my heart it was Nicholle. I knew in my heart she never left that house.’
Krista Coppler, mother of missing runaway Nicholle whose remains were found
Lieutenant Jim Baker said detectives believed Fryer was involved in the girl’s death but that there were other suspects also considered.
Police said others knew that the girl was in the house, as at least two other people lived in the home with Fryer.
Mrs Coppler said she didn’t believe the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance had been handled properly in 1999 but that police have since changed policy on runaway teenagers.
She said: ‘If, in Nicholle’s name, she can save some other girls, some good can come out of this.’
Miss Coppler was last seen on May 15, 1999 and was known to be in the company of Fryer in June.
Fryer was arrested on August 30, 2001, and charged with multiple counts of rape and child pornography involving local girls.
When police searched his house, they found Miss Coppler’s ID, photos of her and a hair accessory containing her hair.
Fryer pleaded no contest to four counts of rape of a minor on February 14, 2002.
He had agreed to talk about Miss Coppler as part of a plea bargain but hanged himself in his jail cell five days later.
In 2006, the Coppler family’s hopes of finding the missing girl were dashed after the police searched land next to Fryer’s house with cadaver dogs but found only animal bones, according to the Toledo Blade newspaper.
Authorities initially classified Miss Coppler’s disappearance as a runaway.
Prior to going missing the ninth-grader had been missing classes at Lima High School and her grades had slipped. Her mother said she had made a new group of friends which changed her behaviour.
It is believed she may have been forced into prostitution by Fryer and was killed when she refused to comply.
According to the Charley Project, which investigates cold cases, Miss Coppler’s diary was also found at the home, which Fryer shared with his mother.
In the last entries, the teenager reportedly said she was sorry for running away and wanted to go back to her family – but that the people she was with wouldn’t let her leave.
Before being convicted of rape, Fryer, a Vietnam veteran, was believed to have been involved in the murder of his ex-wife Connie Ferenczi.
Ferenczi was shot dead at her Ohio home in 1980. Another man was charged with her murder but during his trial it was implied that Fryer hired him to murder his estranged wife.
The man was acquitted by a jury and Fryer was never arrested as there was a lack of evidence. Fryer consistently maintained his innocence in Ferenczi’s murder.