|First appearance||"The Target" (episode 1.01)|
|Last appearance|| "Stray Rounds" (episode 2.09)|
"Dead Soldiers" (episode 3.03) (as death)
|Reason/Cause||Died of a heart attack in the gym|
|Date of Death||October 3rd 2004|
|Episode Count||10 episodes|
|Portrayed by||Robert F. Colesberry|
Ray Cole is a Homicide detective portrayed by Robert F. Colesberry.
Cole was the lead investigator of the death of Anton "Stinkum" Artis. His colleague Bunk Moreland told him that there was information about the case as part of a wiretap investigation that Bunk's partner Jimmy McNulty was involved in. The information would jeopardize the wiretap so they promised they would give it to Cole when the case closed. McNulty never intended to give Cole the information because the perpetrator was his informant Omar Little.
Cole was secondary investigator on the shooting of Wendell "Orlando" Blocker and Detective Kima Greggs. Cole achieved a clearance in the case working alongside lead investigator Detective Ed Norris when the case was solved with a confession from Wee-Bey Brice.
Cole was initially assigned the fourteen Jane Doe homicides that Rawls had tried to avoid. Jimmy McNulty was responsible for proving the cases fell under Rawls' jurisdiction. McNulty called Cole collateral damage when discussing Cole's misfortune with Bunk. Landsman reassigned the case to Bunk and Lester Freamon because he felt he needed his most capable detectives on it.
Cole died unexpectedly and the department held a wake for him. Landsman gave a eulogy for Cole at the wake.
Cole was played by the show's late executive producer, Robert F. Colesberry, who died unexpectedly of complications from heart surgery. The character's wake was in part a tribute to Colesberry. In all subsequent seasons, the opening titles showed Cole's photo next to his coffin at the wake.