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Memorial dedication held for Nancy Cooper

Posted October 12, 2008
Updated October 13, 2008

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— Friends of a slain Cary mother gathered Sunday for a small ceremony to dedicate a memorial to her. Nancy Cooper's family flew from Canada to Cary to be at the ceremony held at Regency Park.

The event came a few days after her husband's video deposition was filed in Wake County court as part of a dispute between him and her family over custody of the Coopers' two daughters.

“We feel at home here, as she did. And you have all done her proud through your love and support,” said Jill Dean, Nancy Cooper's sister.

Those who showed up Sunday to support the family were mostly close friends of Nancy Cooper.

Cooper, 34, was reported missing July 12 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.

According to the autopsy report, she was strangled in "homicidal violence." The report also states there was no other trauma to the body other than a faint mark on her neck and a bone fracture in the same area.

Police have not named a suspect or any persons of interest in her death. Much of what the public knows of their investigation, largely from court documents, has focused on Brad Cooper, however. Through his attorneys, he has adamantly denied being involved in his wife's death.

Brad Cooper was not at Sunday's ceremony. 

In the seven-hour video deposition filed in Wake County District Court on Thursday afternoon, Brad Cooper detailed his account of the morning his wife disappeared, an extramarital affair he had with a co-worker's wife and other details about how the couple was having marital issues, including financial problems caused by his wife's excessive spending.

"She spent more than we had, which was unfortunate, and she drank a little more than I would have wanted her to," he said.

Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, declined to comment on their son-in-law's deposition. They say they are pleased with how the investigation is going, although no arrests have been made.

The family is staying in Cary until a custody hearing later this week.

A judge could decide whether the Rentzes and Cooper's twin sister will get permanent custody of Coopers' daughters, or if the girls will be returned to their father.

Regardless of the outcome, Donna Rentz said Sunday she will not return to her job.

“I am going to take time and spend it with people that are important to me,” Donna Rentz said.

A granite bench dedicated Sunday in Nancy Cooper's honor was donated by Kerry and Heather Zorzi. It overlooks Cary's Symphony Lake and reads, "You are my sunshine."  The inscription comes from a song Nancy Cooper used to sing to her daughters.

22 Comments

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  • chance Oct 13, 2008

    LAHTIGRESS - Just to take it one step further ... how in the heck do you explain that to your young child when you're walking through the park. "Who is that lady Mommy?" ... not a historian, not a philanthropist ... "it's a lady that was murdered down the street dear." What the heck was the town of Cary thinking?!?

  • Blues Man Z Oct 13, 2008

    Lahtigress,
    I would think that the place to start would be the Town of Cary. I don't live near this park so I won't go as far as petitioning, but this granite bench with victim's face on it is very strange and cemetery-like.

  • lahtigress Oct 13, 2008

    In light of the most recent comment from 'chance', who can we petition to have the bench removed? I live close to the Regency lake and don't want the constant reminder of this murder.

  • chance Oct 13, 2008

    And yet more censorship by WRAL. Let me try this ...

    As a Cary Resident I STRONGLY OBJECT to this "memorial" bench in 'Public' Regency Park to honor this woman. She was not even a US citizen nor contributory to the history or growth/shaping of the Town of Cary. She didn't even live in Regency, she lived in Lochmere! Who is responsible for this decision? Can ANYBODY have a 'public' park bench donated in their honor in the Town of Cary? I'm sure we can ALL easily answer that question. There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with this. Shame on you Town of Cary!!!

  • rudyzacksmom Oct 13, 2008

    It's very sad and unfortunate for the children especially involved in this case here. I too have spent way too much time covering this case but it's so obvious husband is the guilty party here! The more he talks the more obvious it is! I am just very greatful that the grandparents are available to take care of those kids because that wacko will be put away very soon!

  • mmania Oct 13, 2008

    I'm glad to see so many people feel the same as I do on this subject. Those Lockmere people are the ones that need to let this go, but they won't. YOu don't see her parents down here raising the subject at every turn either. Enough is enough.

  • happy Oct 13, 2008

    How many memorials and tributes are going to be held for this woman? Was she more worthy than the pregnant newspaper delivery woman? NO.

    STOP COVERING THIS STORY EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAYS NANCY COOPER. IT IS RIDICULOUS AND OVERLOAD.

  • Cheeksgirl Oct 13, 2008

    Enough of this story already! Let the legal system work this case - WRAL leave it alone. I am sick to death of hearing about Nancy Cooper. This will not be the next Lacy Peterson case!

  • Commentor5 Oct 13, 2008

    psychobabble: "When have you seen WRAL give half this much attention to any minority that was killed?"

    hmmmmm.....interesting observation. Gee, there are people murdered everyday in this country (and about once a week we hear about it in this area). WHY IS THIS CASE SO IMPORTANT? I bet there is some reporter at WRAL is writing a book about this one....wanna guess who that might be?

    Let's see if the moderator responds to your comment about the minority perspective....

  • anonemoose Oct 13, 2008

    The attention cames because she is a rich white woman from an uspcale suburb. No more, no less. When have you seen WRAL give half this much attention to any minority that was killed?

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