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Navy Officer Allegedly Murdered His Pregnant Partner After She Refused Abortion

Raquiah King's loved ones say she decided not to abort the child she was expecting with her partner, Emmanuel Coble. She was later found shot to death on the shoulder of a rural Virginia road. 

By Jax Miller
Navy Officer Allegedly Murdered His Pregnant Partner After She Refused Abortion

A Navy sailor stationed in Virginia is accused of murdering his intimate partner because she wouldn’t comply with his requests to have an abortion, the victim’s family says.

Emmanuel DeWayne Coble, 27, was arrested on Aug. 11 for the murder of Raquiah Paulette King, 20, according to the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators confirmed with CBS Norfolk affiliate WTKR that Coble and King were in an intimate relationship.

Deputies responded to the intersection of Winns Church Road and Greenwood Road in Hanover — which is just north of Richmond — around 7:00 a.m.  on July 21 for reports of a woman's body. At the time, Hanover County officials could not identify her and appealed to the public for information.

The victim was described as a young, Black adult female somewhere between 18 years old and her early 20s. She was 4’11” and weighed little more than 100 pounds. Investigators listed several tattoos in hopes of identifying her, and announced they were looking into the woman’s death as part of a homicide investigation.

A medical examiner determined the victim was shot to death, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and she was subsequently identified as Raquiah King of Hampton, Virginia — a town more than 85 miles southeast of where her body was discovered, in an area that is home to multiple military installations.

Spokesperson Lt. James Cooper for the Hanover Sheriff’s Office confirmed with the Dispatch that King was three months pregnant at the time of her death.

A police handout of Dewayne Coble

On Monday, Hanover County officials announced Coble’s arrest, stating they were “able to quickly identify a suspect in the case” with help from the Hampton Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Virginia State Police.

Coble has been charged with first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was arrested in Hampton and transported to Hanover County for his arraignment the following day. The charges are expected to be amended in light of the unborn child’s death.

Coble is a junior-grade lieutenant based at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia and assigned to the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered subcarrier, according to the Dispatch.

Someone named Gregory King — which is King’s father's name — created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for funeral expenses. It was unclear if the creator was King’s father, as it often refers to him in the third person, or another relative posting on his behalf.

In it, the writer describes the family's perspective on Raquiah King's death.

“Raquiah met a young man and moved to Virginia to live with him while he pursued a career,” stated the campaign’s creator, who identifies their location as Miami. “In the process, they fell in love and conceived a child.”

The campaign stated that, well after King became pregnant, Coble allegedly “changed his mind” and “forced Raquiah to have an abortion, which she refused.”

The couple allegedly visited an abortion clinic sometime before the murder, but when Raquiah changed her mind, Coble allegedly “became furious.”

“They then got into a fight outside in the car on the way home [and] the killer killed her and her unborn baby,” according to the GoFundMe page. “They both died instantly on the scene.”

It is unclear from the family's story or police statements why King's body was found in Hanover County: There are three abortion clinics in the area where King, lived as well as three south of where her body was found in Richmond. There are none in the immediate vicinity of where her body was discovered.

Coble was arraigned at the Hanover General District Court on Tuesday, according to the Dispatch. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 6, jail records show.