NBC Bay Area paid a jailhouse visit to a man police are calling a person of interest in the killing of Sandra Coke, the investigator for the federal defender's office who disappeared from her Oakland home more than three weeks ago only to be found dead in Vacaville a few days later.
Randy Alana, Coke's former boyfriend, appeared distraught and emotional, telling NBC Bay Area he's grief stricken.
"Sandra meant the world to me," he said.
Alana, who has a lengthy criminal past, including rape, kidnapping and manslaughter convictions, said he's an easy target in the case. While he wouldn't answer whether he had anything to do with Coke's disappearance, he claims Coke had told him she was getting unwanted phone calls before she disappeared and that someone had slashed her tenants tires.
Legal Analyst Steven Clark said Alana clearly wants to put his spin on things as police work to build their case against him. Alana remains in custody on a parole violation but has not been charged in Coke's killing.
NBC Bay Area Bay Area has learned Alana and Coke had been butting heads for months over the disappearance of Coke's dog. Sources said Coke filed a complaint in May alleging Alana used the dog to extort $1,000 from her. She reportedly gave him the money but didn't get the dog back.
The complaint led to his arrest on a parole violation. Alana had gotten out of jail three days before Coke disappeared.
When asked why he had Coke's keys and credit card on him when he was arrested he replied, "How many things of mine do you think Sandra has?"
Alana declined to answer most of NBC Bay Area's questions, at times putting down the phone and burying his face in his arms as he asked for privacy to grieve.