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Police search Cary woman's house, vehicles

Posted July 16, 2008
Updated July 17, 2008

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— Authorities carried out a detailed search Wednesday of the house and vehicles of a missing Cary woman whose body was found Monday in an undeveloped subdivision outside the town's limit.

Cary police Chief Pat Bazemore said at a news conference Wednesday morning that a search warrant obtained overnight also allows investigators to obtain DNA evidence from Nancy Cooper's husband, Brad Cooper.

Brad Cooper had no comment, but his attorneys, Howard Kurtz and Seth Blum, released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying he would not answer questions from the media but would continue cooperating with police.

"Brad is devastated by the news of Nancy's death," the statement read. "He has and will continue to assist in law enforcement efforts to bring his wife's killer or killers to justice."

Investigators have not named a suspect or a person of interest in the 34-year-old mother of two's death, and getting search warrants for forensic evidence of spouses of murder victims are a routine procedure.

"As you know, an investigation is as important for ruling things out as it is for ruling things in," Bazemore said.

Brad Cooper has been cooperative with investigators and has previously allowed police to search the house, Bazemore said.

"We have not done a detailed search. The search warrant allows us to do a detailed search of the home and vehicles," she said. "That would include forensic evidence."

Forensic evidence could include hair, saliva and blood samples, as well as an examination for marks, scratches or other injuries.

Bazemore said Brad Cooper has also admitted that the couple was having marital difficulties and said Tuesday that information would be part of the investigation.

She declined to comment further about the case, including a cause of death, saying the investigation is ongoing.

"We have talked to a lot of people, and we will continue to talk to people. As we get information, we will investigate every detail we are provided," Bazemore said Wednesday.

Brad Cooper told police his wife went jogging Saturday morning and never returned. A friend called 911 Saturday afternoon when Nancy Cooper did not show up for a planned meeting.

After two full days of land, air and water searches, a man walking his dog discovered the body on Brittabby Court in the yet-unbuilt Oaks at Meadow subdivision. The body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy.

Crime scene investigators combed the area for evidence Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday evening, they cordoned off the Coopers' house on Wallsburg Court in Cary's Lochmere subdivision.

"The moment that we announced this was a murder, it was important that we secured the home as a possible crimes scene," Bazemore said Tuesday.

Brad Cooper is staying with friends and taking care of his two children, Bazemore said. He was at a news conference Monday evening with his wife's family and was expected to be at one Tuesday afternoon but did not show.

He wasn't in attendance Wednesday, either.

"He's been given an open invitation as the rest of the family has. I do not know why he's not here," Bazemore said.

334 Comments

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  • hartk Jul 17, 2008

    daisy14
    Never stated that Cary was not doing a good job. I have lived in this community for 20 years and it still makes me nervous when you hear of a murder in CARY. Do you have any children, as a mother, I constantly worry about my daughers going out, no matter where they go, its normal to be worried when you have young daughers.

  • hooksaw Jul 17, 2008

    I wonder if the politics of Cary's leadership will be an issue in this investigation.

    "Cary Police Chief Discusses Sudden Departure"

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2170476/

  • nisa-pizza Jul 17, 2008

    durham-raleigh,

    "GOOD LORD, people -- it's disgusting watching everyone speculate on this."

    Amen....I'd just as soon let them do their job.

    This discussion makes me sick.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 16, 2008

    Who knows. Cary PD could have someone monitoring this Blog. Our possible juicy info from "Leeca" could have been censored. Or she could have received a nice little phone call from the Cary PD to back off. It wouldn't shock me to have Cary PD looking into this Blog. People are more likely to say things when they believe they are anonymous. I doubt Cary PD needs more evidence in this case. But this Blog could provide a small piece of evidence, if they were so desperate, from someone "in the know".

  • gmoorefield Jul 16, 2008

    I think we may be convicting an innocent man. Perhaps we shouldn't jump to conclusions. I happen to know that Brad is a great person. He works with my husband and is a very helpful and friendly person. I know that doesn't prove anything one way or another, but I think we are speculating on a situation that we know very little about.

  • alberta Jul 16, 2008

    turtlestew, there are some very problematic details surrounding Nancy's disappearance, including where she was found and what she was wearing. There was an interview with Dr Baden today. He mentioned that her stomach contents would give the much needed clue about time of death. If there was undigested food from the night before, Nancy was probably murdered during the night. Hopefully this will lead to a quick arrest. If Nancy was murdered in the morning, the suspect pool widens significantly.

  • FE Jul 16, 2008

    "By the way, long winded comments are the ones that I usually skip over. Who has all this time to sit here and read them all?"

    You MIGHT be missing something (short enough??)

    FE

  • duwbit Jul 16, 2008

    "It's my understanding that the police have refused to comment on what Nancy was wearing when she was found. If it was a stranger abduction, she may not have been wearing clothes. Would Brad be dumb enough to murder his wife in the clothes she was wearing the night before and then claim she was wearing jogging clothes when last seen? I doubt it."

    I think she was killed the night before and dressed in jogging clothes and dumped on the side of the road to look like a random act.

  • alberta Jul 16, 2008

    It's my understanding that the police have refused to comment on what Nancy was wearing when she was found. If it was a stranger abduction, she may not have been wearing clothes. Would Brad be dumb enough to murder his wife in the clothes she was wearing the night before and then claim she was wearing jogging clothes when last seen? I doubt it.

  • 1Moms_View Jul 16, 2008

    SteveCrisp, good post.

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