Slain Cary mom remembered as outgoing, friendly
Posted July 17, 2008
Cary, N.C. — The investigation into the slaying of Nancy Cooper was the impetus of another news conference Thursday morning, but the focus was less about the case and more about the victim, herself.
Family members reeling from their loss spoke out for the first time about the 34-year-old mother of two and the life she led, characterizing her as an outgoing person who made friends easily.
For Cooper's twin sister, Krista Lister, she was a best friend, a soul mate.
"I have a bond with Nancy that no one else in the world has," she said. "All I have to do to remember her is to look in the mirror, and I will continue to talk to her every morning, as I always had.
Family was important.
Cooper enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and taking her two daughters – Bella, 4, and Katie, 2. She'd often take them to a nearby pool, her family remembered, and would often talk with Lister on the phone after leaving the pool.
“Every morning on my way to work, I'd call her and Bella,” Lister said. “She’d tell me how (Bella) swam. I'd talk to Nancy twice a day.”
Cooper's father, Garry Rentz, said he knew “very much what was going on in (his daughter's) heart and in her life" and recalled memories of spending holidays together.
"We're a family that spends a lot of time together," he said. "We'd spend every Christmas together. Either we would come here or Nancy, Brad and the kids would come north."
Now, with Cooper gone, the family says, the pain is unbearable.
"This is the single most important, heart-rendering tragedy that has ever befallen our family," her mother, Donna Rentz said. "I'm really having difficulty dealing with it."
Cooper's parents and some of her siblings traveled from their homes in Canada earlier this week to support the search effort for Cooper, who was reported missing Saturday afternoon after she failed to show up for a meeting with a friend.
She and her husband, Brad Cooper, moved to Cary from Canada eight years ago when he was transferred with his job. They moved into a brick house at 104 Wallsburg Court – now cordoned off by yellow crime scene tape.
Police say they have no suspects or persons of interest in her death but call it an isolated incident.
Cooper's father has a message for whoever is responsible for his family's tragedy.
"I think it is an act of extreme cowardice to take a life, to rob a family, to rob children of a mother," Garry Rentz said. "And I guess what I would say is if you have a shred of decency, come forward."
The family says they will stay in Cary as long as it takes They are asking citizens to take down the thousands of "missing" posters put up earlier this week so they don't have to be reminded of their loss everywhere they turn.
Instead, they'd like to see white ribbons placed outside homes in their daughter's and sister's memory.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.