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Man found beaten to death

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 21, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- Police are investigating the slaying of a man who was found beaten to death in his apartment Saturday.

Melvin Eugene "Mel" Coker, 47, was found dead by a friend who had gone to check on Coker at Coker's home in the Lakebrook Park apartments, police said.

An autopsy confirmed that Coker's death was a homicide, detectives said Tuesday. Coker had been beaten about his upper body.

Investigators are trying to figure out who killed Coker and why.

Records show that Coker had lived in the apartment complex at 200 78th Ave. N for at least five years. He was a machine operator for Jabil Circuit who enjoyed fishing in his spare time.

Coker is survived by his wife, three children, two grandchildren, three siblings and his mother.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call St. Petersburg police Detective Mark Deasaro at 893-7339.

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