PATERSON —Tenants of an apartment building where Shanaya Coley's car was found six months to the day of her disappearance said the sedan had been parked there for months, according to

Resident Wilfredo Morales told the newspaper he was among the tenants who noticed the car parked in the lot of the building on Marion Street last winter, but only called police on Sunday when the noticed a bad smell coming from the grey Nissan Altima.

Coley's charcoal grey Nissan Altima was found less than five minutes from her home, parked at an apartment building on Marion Street with a body in the back seat, according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes. It was not disclosed how long the car was in the lot, how it got there and if police had been notified earlier.

Authorities had previously said they feared Coley had been abducted. Coley’s father, Willie, previously NBC New York that his daughter had taken out a restraining order to protect her and her 3-year-old son, but he only learned about it from police after her disappearance and he didn’t know who the restraining order was meant for. He told reporters that his daughter’s glasses were found in the parking lot outside of her apartment and that there was blood on the ground.

Police covered up the Nissan with a tarp before taking it away on the back of a flatbed truck Sunday.

"We're exhausting every investigative lead possible," Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor Jason Statuto told New Jersey 101.5 in January

Coley's family members said they are convicted it was her body found in the car.

The identity of the body was to be determined by the medical examiner but her father, Willie Coley, told members of law enforcement are certain the body is that of his daughter.

“I got an answer to my prayers today. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted and it was bad news, at least it was an answer," Willie Covey said.

Valdes did not say when the medical examiner's report would be released.

Willie Coley has not yet returned a message from New Jersey 101.5.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ


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