Local News

Police press search for Cary mom's killer with two new warrants

Posted July 30, 2008

— Cary police have returned two additional search warrants in their search for a suspect in the death of Nancy Cooper.

Cooper, 34, a mother of two, was found dead in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary’s town limit on July 14, two days after a friend reported her missing when she failed to show up for a planned meeting.

Her husband, Brad Cooper, told authorities his wife went jogging and never returned.

A warrant issued on July 21 allowed police access to an office on the Research Triangle Park campus of Cisco Systems Inc., where Brad Cooper works. Cisco spokeswoman Kirsten Weeks said Thursday that Brad Cooper is on paid administrative leave from his job in telephone technology and that the company is "providing full support on authorities in their investigation."

A second warrant didn't specify a search location. A search warrant can be issued for a home, office or other building, or for a car, a computer, or even a person.

Both warrants were ordered sealed by a judge.

Police searched the Coopers' house and vehicles and got DNA evidence from Brad Cooper on July 16. The warrants allowing those searches are also sealed.

WRAL News and other local media are expected to argue that the warrants be made public at a hearing Thursday. Lawyers representing Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent of WRAL News, and The News & Observer delivered a letter of intent to Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens Monday requesting the hearing.

In the motion filed Monday, WRAL's lawyers asked for the warrant application and the list of items seized under conditions of the warrant to be made public.

By law, affidavits to obtain a search warrant must contain a detailed explanation of probable cause, and they usually have specifics about what police believe happened to the victim. Sometimes they contain investigators' theories about the suspect and motive behind a crime.

In sealing the warrants, Stephens said the release of the documents could compromise the ongoing murder investigation or jeopardize a defendant's right to a fair trial.

Raleigh attorney Dan Boyce, a former prosecutor, said authorities try to strike a delicate balance between the release of enough information and too much.

"I think there's a very valid basis to seal an affidavit for a limited period of time to give law enforcement opportunity to use their law enforcement tools and techniques to investigate a case," Boyce said.

"But to do it for a long period of time just to keep the public (from) knowing what the facts are, I think you can go too far."

Stephens is expected to rule on warrants in the Cooper case Thursday. If he denies the request of the media organizations, they remain sealed until the middle of August.

Authorities have released little information in the case of Cooper's disappearance and death but have said they do not believe it was a random act. They have not named a suspect or a person of interest in her death.


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  • Eduardo1 Jul 30, 2008

    Brad is not a person-of-interest, nor a suspect, but we never hear about warrants or interviews with anyone else. I like every other defective-detective out there, do not have a clue who did the murder, so why don't we ever hear of anyone else getting all of the eye-balling that Mr Cooper is getting. Have any of her male friends, stepped up to the plate for searches? or a jealous wife of one of these men. Since she was in a divorce situation, it would not be unusual for her to have some type of relations with a man or woman. It is possible. With all of the recent service women who have been murdered, they also had something else in common, they were all pregnant. I just wonder if the autopsy of Nancy will show that also. More to think about

  • maxpower Jul 30, 2008

    Hey. Does this "Cary Mom" have a name? Use it.

  • gorgon01 Jul 30, 2008

    I am so tired of hearing about this case

  • Raleigh Jul 30, 2008

    remember the 911 call where the man found a body while walking his dog. he stated that his dog was smelling the body but the man didnt go close because of the vulchers?

    i wonder if between the time of death and the pond and the vulchers if all or most of any evidence is gone from nancy's body,,,,sure, broken bones can survive, clothing and hair, but we all know what vulchers do and they do it pretty well and pretty fast.

  • Raleigh Jul 30, 2008

    "Simply put, the CPD knows it is Brad Cooper." DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT

    and how do you know this? and how do you know what evidence cpd has or doesnt have?
    you speak your words to be true, please enlighten us.


  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 30, 2008

    "I want to see this kind of media coverage for ALL murders in this area. There were other bodies found during this same time period. Why is this one getting all the attention and the others just a footnote?"

    Simple answer... Profiling. With most people, you can fully understand how they got into their predicament. But with a few, its a shock to the system that they are involved in murder. The percentages say it will happen eventually. But the largest percentage of killers are very obvious, when you see their upbringing.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 30, 2008

    Simply put, the CPD knows it is Brad Cooper. But... they don't have anything except for circumstancial evidence. And that could be shot down by a good defense attorney. That is why an arrest has not been made. As for why a suspect has not been named, if CPD names him as the suspect, and then can't take a case to court or win, they look very bad. They don't look as bad as long as they keep the case wide open. And I'm NOT slamming the CPD. The evidence just isn't there. You can't fabricate it. It will be torn apart by the defense.

    Brad Cooper most likely did kill her. But he might never be tried for her murder. This goes to show you that people are rarely put on Death Row as innocent people, unlike 20 or so years ago. If you're put on Death Row today, you deserve it. Unfortunately, that electric chair/IV bag sits lonely way too much. "Fry'em ALL and Fry'em Quick!"

  • therose2005 Jul 30, 2008

    Maybe they are trying to rule things out by going to his office. I have to give him credit for cooperating with the investigation. That more than we can say for Michelle Young husband. Time will tell all.....

  • ginlee00 Jul 30, 2008

    I want to see this kind of media coverage for ALL murders in this area. There were other bodies found during this same time period. Why is this one getting all the attention and the others just a footnote?

  • tarheelblue919 Jul 30, 2008

    whatever they do i hope they with hold anything from the public they need to so they can conduct a thorough investigation, those children deservean accurate and correct answer to what really happened to their mom. praying for a quick and accurate investigation!