‘She was a bright little girl’: Columbia County mother mourns death of daughter found in field

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – The mother of a woman whose body was found in a field in Columbia County is speaking out.

Eleanor Houston said she still doesn’t understand why someone would want to hurt her child, Coyoete Turner, who she described as a caring person.

“Nobody’s child deserves to be that,” Houston said. “I shouldn’t be burying my child.”

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the 18-year-old’s body was found on September third near SW Haltiwanger Road, which is not far from Ellisville.

Deputies said they were investigating her death as a homicide.

Houston said when she spoke with the Medical Examiner’s office the word ‘burned’ was used when talking about part of her daughter’s body, but it’s still unclear how Turner died.

The mother of five said she wasn’t always with her kids because at one point she was in prison and now that she’s out she can’t believe this happened.

“She was a bright little girl, " Houston said. “She loved her mama she loved her whole family she had problems yes, but at the end of the day that child would give you the shirt off her back.”

No one has been arrested or charged in her death.

Houston is hopeful someone will come forward soon, so she and her family can get closure on who and why someone killed her daughter.

Until then she’ll reminisce on the fond memories she shared with her.

“My favorite memory with my daughter is when she would come up to me and say mama let’s howl at the moon and we would,” Houston said.

In a news release earlier this month, the Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter, said “our hearts go out to the victim’s family.”

He also said his department would work “tirelessly until we are able to bring a successful closure to this case.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, specifically detective Truesdale at 386-758-1375, or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Columbia County.

About the Author:

Khalil Maycock joined the News4JAX team in November 2022 after reporting in Des Moines, IA.