Local News

Nancy Cooper's family: Children 'our primary concern'

Posted July 18, 2008

— Family members of Nancy Cooper say their "primary interest" right now is the wellbeing of her two young daughters, and they plan to take them back to Canada this weekend.

"Our primary concern is care of these children, and that what we do is not going to hinder or hurt them in any way, and we're being very cautious," Donna Rentz said of her grandchildren during a news conference Friday.

The family also announced a public memorial service for 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park. They will also hold a small private vigil Friday evening for family, close friends of Cooper's and invited guests.

They are in the process of establishing a trust fund for the children and expect that information to be available later Friday.

Nancy Cooper's family has temporary custody of Bella, 4, and Katie, who will turn 2 next week. Already, the family said, they see a lot of Cooper's "love and pure joy of life" in the children.

"Bella's very strong, very opinionated, and if she doesn't agree with something that you're doing, she'll let you know," Cooper's brother, Jeff Rentz said. "There's absolutely no doubt. And Nancy was always like that."

"(Katie is) a happy, funny little girl, and she's just exactly like her mother," Donna Rentz said. "She loves everything she does every day."

The family still has not told the children about their mother, they said, and they were expected to meet with grief counselors Friday to determine the most appropriate way to do so.

"We have not told them, and they have not mentioned to us that they know. So, we are going to walk very gingerly into this area," Cooper's father, Garry Rentz said.

Cooper, 34, was reported missing Saturday when she failed to meet up with a friend as planned. Two days later, authorities recovered her body, wearing little clothing, in an undeveloped subdivision less than three miles from her home.

Police have not named a suspect or any persons of interest in her death and don't expect to make an arrest this weekend.

"I think this is an act of extreme cowardice by whoever did this, and I think if they had a shred of decency in their body, that they would come forward and acknowledge their guilt," Garry Rentz said Friday.

Cary police are saying very little about the case, and Chief Pat Bazemore said Friday no other updates were expected until they name a suspect or make an arrest.

Bazemore said Thursday that Brad Cooper, has been cooperative in the investigation

Nancy Cooper's family filed for custody of the children Wednesday, claiming he is emotionally unstable and poses a threat to them.

They allege he emotionally abused his wife and children, withheld funds for basic needs and had a sexual relationship with another woman.

The court scheduled a hearing on the matter for July 25, and Donna Rentz said they will be back in North Carolina for it.

"The fact that the kids are happy and away from the publicity and the rumors – that's our goal," she said. "We want to have them in an environment where they're with the people who love them and care for them, and they're safe," Donna Rentz said.


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  • beachboater Jul 21, 2008

    Why are these people giving so many news conferences? Why? I would want privacy.

  • taurismo Jul 18, 2008

    Nancy's parents, while I realize they are grieving and need something of Nancy to hold onto, should not have even filed for custody of those children let alone have it granted. Brad is the father of those children and has not been convicted, indicted or even charged with anything. Those kids only have one parent left and they belong with him.

  • Just Once Jul 18, 2008

    Recent history is against me but I hope and PRAY this man did not kill his wife. Please, just once for these kids.

  • carolinakhaki Jul 18, 2008

    "I try not to judge so quickly, but who would not when a husband do not report his wife missing and the best friend does."

    In a normal, healthy marriage, that would indeed seem really out of place. But from what we know, this marriage was anything but solid. Who knows what kind of communication routines this couple had, or what her normal behavior patterns were?

  • hayco Jul 18, 2008

    Whatever happened to the story of him buying bleach at 4 am. If that was true, that doesn't look very good. But if not, and after 3 days of searching the home...and nothing yet?

  • mogwai Jul 18, 2008

    "Did anyone notice this morning Nancy's Father saying that he spoke with Nancy about every 5 days by phone and that she told him everything, withholding nothing. Next they asked if he had feared for her life, and he immediately said No. Does this balance with what the papers filed for custody has said and the picture they are trying to paint in the media?"

    This is the basis of my own disbelief. There are too many instances where the before and after information & actions do not seem to mesh. This could be simply because not all of the information is being revealed, or it could be deliberate. Either way, when 2 + 2 doesn't equal 4, my mind starts wondering why, and it's doing that in spades with regard to this case.

  • hayco Jul 18, 2008

    Sorry, jmflu- that's even worse.

  • mogwai Jul 18, 2008

    "they have no incentive to paint Brad in a bad light...he is the only parent their children have and is financially responsible for them...why would they want to disconnect him from his children unless they truly believe he is a danger to them."

    There are a load of "maybe" answers to that assertion.

    What if the parents never liked him and now want to retain the last part of their daughter that's left while removing him from the picture?

    What if they're trying to assuage their grief by grabbing onto the children?

    The point is that we do not really know these people, we don't truly know any of the family dynamics at play in this and we have no basis for assuming that their intentions are either good or bad. At this point, it's very much a he said / she said, and anything is possible.

  • jmflu Jul 18, 2008

    "Next they asked if he had feared for her life, and he immediately said No. Does this balance with what the papers filed for custody has said and the picture they are trying to paint in the media?" Uhhhhh... I think the murder inbetween those two times might have changed his thinking???

  • Meandmytwo Jul 18, 2008

    I pray that justice is served real soon. I try not to judge so quickly, but who would not when a husband do not report his wife missing and the best friend does. Praying for the family and friends. God bless all.