Local News

911 calls in Nancy Cooper's death released

Posted July 22, 2008
Updated July 23, 2008

— A friend of Nancy Cooper tells 911 dispatchers in a call released Tuesday that the slain Cary mother of two was in the middle of a divorce, that there was tension in her friend's marriage and says her apparent disappearance "would not make any sense."

"She was supposed to be at my house at eight and just because of the situation with the divorce, I'm just wondering – I don't know what I should do," the caller says in the July 12 call, made at 1:50 p.m.

The caller, Jessica Adam, tells dispatchers that Nancy Cooper's husband, Brad Cooper, said his wife went out early for a run – he believed with a friend.

Adam says that although it was possible Cooper had forgotten about their meeting, it was "weird" that she had not heard from her.

"She would have made contact with me or her other friend by now – who both had expected her today – and the fact that her car is still at home and her cell phone is there is a little weird," Adam said in the call. "That would not make sense."

The dispatcher also asks if there is a history of violence in the Cooper marriage.

"I don't know that he's been physically violent, but I know there's been a lot of tension," she says. "So I wouldn't be surprised. I hate to say it but I'm just not sure what to do."

About 200 volunteers joined law enforcement authorities and rescue crews over the next two days looking for Nancy Cooper and hanging fliers asking for information about her whereabouts.

A man walking his dog July 14 found her body in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary's town limit.

"I think she's dead. I didn't see her move," the man told dispatchers at 7:35 p.m. in a call that Cary police also released Tuesday. "My dog was down sniffing. I didn't see any movement."

Brad Cooper's attorneys, Seth Blum and Howard Kurtz, criticized Cary police for releasing the calls, characterizing the action as a leak that appears "calculated to do nothing more than inflame already raw emotions."

"Selectively releasing prejudicial information in this fashion is reckless, misleading and just plain wrong," they said in a written statement.

Town of Cary spokeswoman Susan Moran said not doing so would have been in violation of the North Carolina Public Records law and that portions of the call required to be redacted were so.

"We did not want to file a motion or make any requests that it be sealed," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said of the calls. "We didn't think it was critical to the investigation, and therefore, we did not see any reason to try to suppress it. So we've not taken any action."

Cary police have not said how Nancy Cooper died, and they have not named any suspects or persons of interest in her death, although they have said they do not believe the crime was random.

Authorities have also said Brad Cooper has been cooperative with the investigation, and Blum said Friday that his client told police he did not kill his wife.

Brad Cooper told WRAL News a day after his wife's disappearance the two had been having marital problems.

In a petition filed last week for custody of the Coopers' two young daughters, Nancy Cooper's parents and sister claim Brad Cooper emotionally abused his wife and children, withheld funds for basic needs and had a sexual relationship with another woman.

They also argue he is emotionally unstable and poses a threat to the children.

"Because of the intense scrutiny he is currently facing in the ongoing criminal investigation, there is a substantial risk of bodily injury to the children while in the defendant's custody," the claim states.

A judge awarded Nancy Cooper's family, which lives in Canada, temporary custody of the children until a hearing on the matter, scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

Kurtz said in an interview that aired Tuesday on Canadian Broadcasting Company radio that his client did not consent to the order.

"Brad loves his children. He is a very, very good father. And he is going to ask the court to return them to his care," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • carolinakhaki Jul 23, 2008

    Jay, thank you for so clearly illustrating my point. You don't know the answers to any of those questions and offer nothing but more opinions - "guilty mannerisms/eye contact", indeed. Give me a break.

  • Jay4 Jul 23, 2008

    carolinakhaki: FACT - Nancy Cooper was reported to the police as missing by a friend, not her husband, over 7 hrs after Nancy reportedly left home. Some Common sense questions from this fact: 1. Why did her husband not report her missing or AT LEAST contact her friends to find her-after that length of time after going for a jog that should have lasted=by his report=only 2 hrs? 2.Did she actually go for a jog? It is ONLY the husband's hearsay that says she did go for a jog. FACT: Nancy Cooper was found dead in an undeveloped subdivision about 3 miles from her home, partially clothed (according to reports) Obvious questions from this fact-we don't know answers but LEO do know and stated: (FACT) that this is not a random but a targeted crime. Questions:
    1) How was she clothed? In jogging clothes or not? 2) What was cause of death? FACT:Brad Cooper's guilty mannerisms/eye contact at only press conf so bad-no more since. He claims=private person yet public website. Informed opin

  • undecided Jul 23, 2008

    Reddhott--You obviously are not a runner. She would have left the house without keys, phone, purse, car, anything except her clothes and shoes. Sure, it would be understandable to be a few hours late if you're out and about shopping in your CAR, but her car was parked at her house with her purse and her phone there with it. The question is, where would he have thought she had gone for several hours directly after a run??? Sure, to a neighbor's house or a friend's, house, but those were the very people calling Brad Cooper and telling him she hadn't showed up at thier homes. I'm not saying he's guilty, because at this point no one knows but him and potentially the "real killer", but honestly, the situation seems strange...

  • ReddHott13 Jul 23, 2008

    Like that poster said earlier in this thread.....WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS MARRIAGE.... AND THOSE WOMEN ARE WAY TOO NOSEY... Heaven forbid my husband should call the cops everytime I DIDNT come home exactly when I said I would.. heck I get sidetracked at the grocery store and head for the drug store and then remember I forgot to check the mail and have to go back for Milk sometimes.... it may take me 5 hours to get back home..
    Leave that man alone and stop watching so much Nancy Grace and "Snapped" ... if he is guilty then say what you want but for now imagine the loss he feels and the hurt those two little girls feel!!

  • carolinakhaki Jul 23, 2008

    "but an INFORMED opinion"

    Jay, that is clearly debatable. Is there verifiable proof of any of the "evidence" people are citing here? Let's see...4 a.m. bleach run, rumor. Husband's affair, hearsay. Emotional abuse/witholding money/etc., hearsay. Cause of death, unknown.

    Shall I continue?

  • TarheelTurtle Jul 23, 2008

    Yes, Apex girl, I can read. Cooper was due at ANOTHER friends home at 1:30. You can't convict the guy on circumstantial evidence. As I said before, it's all suspicious and if her "friends" were so leery of her husband's behaviour, they should have done EVERYTHING within their power to get her out of that house...these aren't uneducated people. Where was the concern before her murder????

  • kyhillgirl Jul 23, 2008

    Does anyone know if her body has been released to the family?
    I know there has been 2 memorial services but so far I have not heard anything about an actual funeral or burial.

  • Jay4 Jul 23, 2008

    There are plenty of facts. Do you need them listed again for you?

    People with common sense come to common sense conclusions based on those facts. Of course no one is legally guilty until proven so in a court of law - or until the person who committed the crime comes forward and confesses! Am sure the LEO's who are investigating this murder have made some initial conclusions based on their avaialble information - as all solid investigators do in process to an actual charge of a crime. Also, any fellow citizen - among those who knew Nancy Cooper and among those who simply care about her murder - who has has read of and evaluated the known facts has likely formed a conclusion - which is at this point just an opinion - but an INFORMED opinion. That is logical to do and logical to expect others to do.

    For many our conclusion, based on assessing the FACTS the public knows, has become a conviction.For me that is the case. Again, I pray that Brad Cooper comes forward and confesses

  • undecided Jul 23, 2008

    Rev RB--"Do you read all the news articles at all? Cooper's attorney says Cooper thought she went with friends after jogging, and indeed, she had made an appointment with a friend at 9 am following jogging, but did not show up."

    I've read several, and heard the 911 call, and I was trying to clear up the misconception that people had that the friend calling 911 called at 9am--she didn't, she called Brad Cooper at 9am and let him know she was an hour late to her house. The friend didn't call 911 until almost 2pm--5 hours later. My question is, why would Brad Cooper not have called himself, knowing that the friend she was supposed to meet after running had already alerted him to the fact that she never showed up??

    Of course the children are in a very sad position, and many prayers are and continue to go out for them. I was simply posting about the article this thread is attached to--the 911 calls. Please do not presume to know MY thoughts not posted here.

  • carolinakhaki Jul 23, 2008

    Who knew that we had so many psychic detectives in the Triangle? I sure wish I was cool enough to be able to determine guilt, innocence, and exactly what went on in someone's else's family while knowing zero factual information whatsoever.