HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A U.S. Navy officer charged with murder in connection with his pregnant girlfriend’s death took her to an abortion clinic in Virginia Beach but she refused the procedure, according to an affidavit. Hours later, her body was found in Hanover County.
Raquiah King’s body was found in the brush of the wood line adjacent to Winns Church Road in Hanover on the morning of July 21. In an affidavit filed in Hanover Circuit Court, investigators wrote that the autopsy found King died from a single gunshot wound to her back and was 12 weeks pregnant.
King’s mother, Rachel Pender, told investigators her daughter sent a photo of a sonogram showing she was 12 weeks pregnant on July 20. The Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported details revealed in the affidavit.
“Rachel Pender reported Raquiah King was having domestic issues with her boyfriend, Emmanuel Coble, who did not want to be a father to Raquiah King’s baby,” investigators wrote in the affidavit. “Rachel Pender reported that Raquiah King had made statements to her that if something was to happen to her, Emmanuel Coble was responsible.”
Investigators reviewed texts from King to Pender sharing Coble’s full name, date of birth, addresses and phone numbers, according to the affidavit. Pender also provided investigators texts from King to her cousin, Aaron Stanley, saying that she was set to have an abortion on July 20.
“Her final text to Stanley is a receipt from the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, located at 515 Newton Rd, Virginia Beach, VA. The receipt lists Raquiah King as the patient and Emmanuel Coble as the person paying the bill,” the affidavit states. “The date of the receipt was July 20th, 2022 at 9:22AM.”
Coble, a junior grade lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, was arrested in Hampton on Aug. 11 and charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm in the killing of King “after an extensive investigation involving multiple agencies,” the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said.
After Pender reported her daughter missing on July 28, a Hampton police officer spoke with Coble over the phone about King’s disappearance. According to the affidavit, Coble told the officer that he rented a residence to King but she had moved out and he hadn’t “seen her in a couple of weeks.”
“He [Coble] stated that she [King] was ‘spontaneous’ and he stated that he did not think she had a good relationship with her mother,” investigators wrote. “This information directly conflicts with the information from Rachel Pender and Aaron Stanley that Coble and King were in a relationship and that King was pregnant with Coble’s child. Coble did not mention any of that information in this call and did not indicate any concern for her safety.”
A search warrant of King’s cell phone records revealed her device was near her residence just before 6 p.m. on July 20, but that it left the area at 11:49 p.m. and no more location indicators were discovered after that time, according to the affidavit.
Investigators wrote in the affidavit that the last text from King’s phone was sent to Coble’s device at 11:40 p.m. on July 20 from near her home. On Aug. 5, less than a week before his arrest, Coble spoke with an investigator at his home.
“During that interview, Coble admitted that he had taken King to Planned Parenthood in Virginia Beach on July 20, 2022 in order for her to get an abortion,” the affidavit states. “Coble said that King had told him that the child was his. He said that he paid for the abortion, but he guessed that she’d changed her mind and had kept the child. He said that this ‘frustrated’ him.”
Coble added that he drove King back to her residence and then went to his apartment, saying he went to bed at approximately 9 p.m. and didn’t wake up until daylight on July 21, according to the affidavit. Before the interview, investigators used a police surveillance database and found that a car Coble drives was seen in Newport News at 4:44 a.m. on July 21.
The investigator asked whether the vehicle, a green Chevrolet sedan with Ohio registration, was driven by anyone else besides Coble. According to the affidavit, Coble said he was the only person with keys for the sedan and it had not been stolen. When asked why the vehicle was seen on the surveillance system at 4:44 a.m. on July 21, Coble said he didn’t know.
After a search warrant was obtained and the vehicle was seized, investigators sprayed a chemical that detects the presence of blood in the trunk of the sedan. “The chemical reacted upon contact, which indicated the presence of blood,” the affidavit states.
A hair band that matched one found on King’s wrist during the autopsy was also found in the trunk of Coble’s vehicle, according to the affidavit, and appeared to have human hair attached to it.
A search warrant was obtained for Coble’s cell phone and investigators used a law enforcement software program to plot the device’s location on July 20 and July 21. According to the affidavit, Coble’s phone was at and around the Planned Parenthood in Virginia Beach on July 20 before it returned to the area of King’s residence at 5:50 p.m.
On July 21, Coble’s phone leaves the area near King’s residence at 1:24 a.m. and is in the area of Winns Church Road in Hanover County at 2:54 a.m. before leaving at 3:08 a.m., according to the affidavit. Coble’s phone is back in Newport News at 4:47 a.m., investigators wrote.
A Hanover sheriff’s deputy responded to the area of Greenwood Road and Winns Church Road at 7:01 a.m. on July 21 after King’s body was found by a witness, according to the affidavit. Investigators wrote in the affidavit that no evidence was found showing King was killed at the location.
Cole, who is being held in Pamunkey Regional Jail, has a Dec. 6 preliminary hearing. According to the Hanover County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, additional charges against Coble in connection with the death of King’s fetus are expected after the preliminary hearing.
The attorney listed in court records for Coble did not respond to a request for comment for this story.