GREENSBORO, N.C. — The man who found the body of Paula Joy Nicks behind his church in Greensboro almost eight years ago is sharing details about that shocking day.
Nicks case had gone cold until this week, when Greensboro police arrested and charged Jack Leon Coker Jr. with her murder.
Clarence Malloy says on May 25, 2012, he went to God’s House of Deliverance Church to do some yard work, but before he started cutting the grass he found Nicks.
“Well at first I thought it was a mannequin laying there. I thought someone was trying to play a trick on me,” Malloy said.
Malloy’s eyes weren’t playing tricks on him.
“So I walked over there and I looked and seen there was a lady there, so I called 911 and then I called my bishop told him I found a lady behind the church dead,” Malloy said.
Malloy says nothing else around the church was out of place, except for a set of footprints.
What followed that day were dead end leads, but on Tuesday that all changed. Greensboro detectives say working off new information they were able to identify and confirm Coker’s alleged involvement.
“You wouldn’t think nobody would kill nobody behind a church, or wherever she was killed and then drag her behind that church,” Malloy said.
Malloy says justice is long overdue and all these years later there’s still one thought that crosses his mind.
“I wondered if she was saved. That was my first thought, that she was saved. Somebody done took her life and you know what, you take a life you can’t get it back,” Malloy said.
Coker is in the Guilford County Jail with no bond.