Local News

Police, volunteers expand search for missing Cary mom

Posted July 14, 2008
Updated July 15, 2008

— Police and dozens of volunteers resumed the search Monday for a Cary mother of two whose husband says she went out for a jog Saturday morning but never returned.

"The police have asked us to look a little bit further off the trail," search organizer Mike Morwick said Monday. "Yesterday, we covered every trail in the Lochmere Regency area. We're just going further, we're looking further into the brush to see if there's anything that might raise suspicion."

Meanwhile, investigators said they were also interviewing Nancy Cooper's family members and acquaintances to learn more about her life.

Police say no one has reported seeing Cooper, 34, after a dinner party in the neighborhood that ended late Friday night. They said they do not believe she had any identification on her Saturday when she apparently left the house.

Brad Cooper told police his wife went out about 7 a.m. Saturday but did not return by 9 a.m. or meet friends later that morning, as planned. A friend called 911 and reported her missing.

Police described Cooper as being 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair that goes just past her shoulders. She was last seen wearing a T-shirt, running shorts and light blue running shoes.

Anyone with information about Cooper’s whereabouts is asked to call the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4016 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIM(E).

"We consider her to be alive and a missing person, at this time," Cary police Chief Pat Bazemore said at a news conference Monday afternoon. "And our goal is tor bring her home."

About 200 people were out searching Monday. That included Cooper's husband, said Bazemore, adding that they have been in direct contact with him.

Brad Cooper told WRAL News on Sunday that he and his wife were having "marital issues" but would not elaborate, nor would he comment further about his wife's disappearance.

Cooper's father, mother and identical twin sister traveled from Canada to assist in the search.

"We have been here today to help find Nancy," Cooper's father, Garry Rentz said. "We believe she will be brought home soon. And we thank the community for the support that they've given and ask they continue in their effort to find our daughter."

At a news conference Monday evening, Brad Cooper, thanked the hundreds of people searching for his wife for their support.

About 150 people joined police in the search Sunday in the areas of Lochmere Lake and Regency Park, which were believed to be routes Cooper regularly jogs.

Crews have searched in and around Lochmere Lake for Cooper, and Bazemore said they are also searching near Lake Wheeler and Lake Johnson.

Volunteers have also posted more than 2,000 fliers asking for the public's help in locating her.

Friends said Monday that the search is personal.

"Nancy is one of our dearest friends, and we miss her dearly," Morwick said. "And we just want to find an end to this."


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  • APPMAN Jul 14, 2008

    oceanchild...are you kidding me? He didn't want the media circus so he didn't call the police? If my wife was missing, my main concern would be finding her, not worrying about media.

  • clintoflannagan Jul 14, 2008

    My wife often leaves the house to exercise with a coupld friends on weekends. Call me an overprotective worrier but the couple times she's not been back within a half an hour after she says she's supposed to be back I started calling her on her cell phone wondering where she was. Fortunately, I've always been able to get her on the phone. I know that if I wasn't able to get her I'd be in the car in a second trying to find her. If I couldn't find her I'd then call the cops.

    Something about this situation with the husband just doesn't add up.

  • oceanchild71 Jul 14, 2008

    The husband may have been reluctant to call and report her as a missing person because of the media circus he knew would follow as well as he had to know he would be the main suspect whether it was warranted or not. His thoughts may have been that maybe she just kept running to clear her mind and maybe she was away thinking about their problems.

    The friend may have had to jumpstart things either b/c she knew that if it were an abduction, every minute counts or she thought the husband was acting strangely and wanted to get the ball rolling.

    Patience, folks. If he is guilty, more than likely he will be found out. Let the system work.

  • ecbrady Jul 14, 2008

    While I agree that it all sounds hinky that the husband was the last to see her, maybe she pulled a runaway bride or Forest Gump and just felt like running. Unlikely, but you never know.

  • armada08 Jul 14, 2008

    I just asked my husband how many times I have gone somewhere, telling him that I would be back at a certain time, and then not arrived back at that time, but up to 3 hours later, you know how it is, you meet a girlfriend at the store and need to catch up on the news! Did he jump up from what he was doing when I was even 2 hours late and call 911 to report me missing? He has even tried calling me on my cell, hour after hour, with me not answering it (I am terrible about not answering my phone). He was very worried about me, and boy did I hear about it when I got home, but he never thought to run to the phone to call the police and report me missing.
    Now I am not trying to pull everything away from the husband, if there is doubt, but I am trying to show that him not reporting her missing right away does not show guilt.

  • Amused Jul 14, 2008

    Scratch what I said about the 911 caller. I think she had her suspicions that her friend's marital problems may be related to why she is missing.

  • Amused Jul 14, 2008

    How many times have we seen the facade of a so-called concerned husband only to be proven and found guilty of murdering his wife?

    BooHoo may be on to something.

    What if the female caller to 911 IS the girlfriend?

    If it was a case of a Jane Doe,given the media coverage, wouldn't authorities be questioning hospitals about Jane Does?

    I hope the outcome is good. But doesn't appear to be that way.

  • Sweet Butterfly Kisses Jul 14, 2008

    My Question??? Has been answered, Finally. I Say, Now He's Hiding Something....Somewhere!

  • something2say Jul 14, 2008

    This one is hard! If the husband did do something why admit to marital problems? Why open your house and cars for police inspection? I mean honestly, everyone knows that to protect yourself, the last thing you do is cooperate!

    Generally it is the significant other in cases like this but ....... I just don't know. I guess more information will make it clearer!

  • TrooperChik Jul 14, 2008

    They need to take those 'Snapped' shows off of TV....these crazy Men are watching too much!!!