Pugh

Larry Pugh

When officials confirmed in June that remains found in San Augustine County belonged to a missing Jacksonville woman, Shunte Coleman's connection to the now-imprisoned Larry Pugh were immediately brought to light.

On Thursday, a San Augustine Sheriff's Office official confirmed that Pugh has not been ruled out as a suspect in the death of Coleman.

Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham also said the case involving Athens resident Terri Reyes is open, and Pugh has not been ruled out in it either. Reyes' body was found in 2007. Reyes was a witness in a rape investigation involving Pugh, and she was reported missing in May 2006.

“As is customary in cases such as this, the incident is being treated as a 'homicide' until evidence, if any, suggests otherwise,” Cunningham said. “No one, including Larry Pugh, has been ruled out. All cases of 'questionable death' are typically treated in the most serious manner.”

Coleman was originally reported missing in the summer of 2006, according to reports. The bodies of both women were found in San Augustine County – Coleman near the intersection of FM 1196 and CR 347 and Reyes on a county Texas Forest Service road.

Pugh, a former Jacksonville police officer, is serving 12 years in federal prison for sexual assault while in uniform and retaliating against a witness.

He is located in a medium security facility in northern Florida and is set for release in May 2018, according to federal jail records.

In a 2006 Progress article, Coleman's grandmother, Margaret Anderson, said she believed Pugh to have played a role in her granddaughters death.

“Word was put out in Jacksonville that if anybody testified (against Pugh), they'd be dead,” Anderson said.

Cunningham said both cases are being actively investigated by the San Augustine Sheriff's Department. Anyone with any information about the death of Reyes or Coleman should contact the sheriff's office at

(936) 275-2424.

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