Woman hopes to reunite Pontiac murder victim’s photo album with her family

Album has various newspaper clippings, photos

It's been two decades since a Pontiac woman was killed in a shooting. A woman found her photo album and hopes to return it to the family.

PONTIAC, Mich. – Two decades ago a Pontiac woman was killed in a shooting at a coney island restaurant.

Police said Vernita Cohen was not the target when she was shot and killed in 2022.

Venice Wilcox found Cohen’s photo album and is hoping to return it to her family.

“Somebody put a love into this book,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox desperately wants to get the photo album back to Cohen’s family, specifically her son.

“This, right here, is his mother. The pictures of when she was pregnant with him. The pictures of her, in her life, period. From a baby,” Wilcox said.

The young mother was shot to death in 2002. The album has various newspaper clippings of the investigation.

Police said she was not the intended target.

The last page of the album praises God with the news the killer, Troy Manning was sentenced to life. After all these years, Venice knows these photos are priceless.

“I’ve lost a lot of pictures of my kids and I don’t want anyone to lose what I’ve lost,” Wilcox said.

The album was discovered last week in the backseat of a car that was purchased by a family friend.

“I’m hoping they get this book and keep it safe where they can go back to it,” Wilcox said.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.