Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

And Then There Were Two

Posted July 30, 2008
Updated July 31, 2008

The comparisons between Nancy Cooper and Michelle Young started the first week Cooper's body was found.  It was a natural leap- two young mothers killed in the prime of their lives when they had so much to look forward to, so much to offer the world.  They were attractive, edcuated, and lived in nice neighborhoods that most people would classify as the epitome of the American suburban dream.

Michelle Young who was pregnant at the time was found beaten to death in her Wake County home in November 2006 with her two-year-old daughter by her side.  Immediately investigators said they did not believe the murder was a random act of violence.  Search warrants allege Michelle's husband, Jason Young, had had an affair.  He was court ordered to turn over his DNA to the Wake County Sheriff's Office.   No suspects have been name and no arrests have been made in the case.  A search of an undisclosed location related to the case on July 5, 2007, has recently been sealed until December 5, 2008.

On July 14, 2008 a man walking his dog found the body of Nancy Cooper less than six miles from Michelle Young's home after police and hundreds of volunteers carried out an exhuasitve two day search.   She was the mother of two little girls, ages two and four.   Almost immediately Cary Police said the crime was not random, but an isolated incident.  Court papers filed in a custody case between Nancy Cooper's family and her husband, Brad Cooper, allege among other things that he mistreated his wife and had multiple affairs.  Cary Police also got a warrant ordering Brad Cooper to turn over his DNA.  No suspects have been named and no arrests have been made.  Search warrants for the couple's home, cars, Brad Cooper's office and another undisclosed location are sealed for thirty days.

But the similarities don't end there.   There are three little girls who have lost their mother, two mothers who have lost their daughters, four siblings who have lost a sister, and two communities that have lost their innocence.  As diligently as the investigators continue to work in both cases there are whispers from those who dare to compare.  The e-mailers and bloggers I have heard from are concerned.  They are worried that the Cooper case will drag on, go unsolved for an indefinite period of time like the Young case.  They want the same thing in both cases; they want justice for Nancy and Michelle. 

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.