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Witness says she saw Nancy Cooper jogging

Posted October 15, 2008

— About an hour before a judge quashed a subpoena from Brad Cooper's attorneys for all evidence collected in Nancy Cooper's murder investigation, his attorneys filed an affidavit Wednesday from a woman who says she saw the slain Cary mother the morning she disappeared.

In the Oct. 9 document, Rosemary Zednick says she was walking her dog at about 7:10 a.m. on July 12 when she saw Nancy Cooper, 34, running along a bicycle path on Lochmere Drive toward Kildaire Farm Road.

Zednick says they made eye contact and spoke to each other.

"I said, 'Hi.' She turned her head and said 'Hi' back to me," Zednick said. "We were almost close enough to touch."

Zednick also says that on at least three occasions she told police about seeing Nancy Cooper but that no one has followed up with her. She said she finally contacted Brad Cooper's attorneys and that their investigator interviewed her.

Cary police Chief Pat Bazemore declined to comment on the affidavit but urged anyone with information about the murder case to contact police.

"The civil custody matter and our investigation into Nancy's murder are two separate issues," she said.

Brad Cooper, 35, is in the middle of a custody battle with his wife's family over the couple's two young daughters. Garry and Donna Rentz, Nancy Cooper's parents, allege he is an unfit parent who was emotionally abusive to and financially controlling of his wife in the months before she was killed.

In July, a judge granted them emergency custody of the children until a temporary custody hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Although police have not called Brad Cooper a suspect or person of interest in his wife's slaying, Judge Debra Sasser has said allegations that he somehow could be involved would likely be part of the temporary custody hearing, if no one is arrested before then.

His attorneys on Friday subpoenaed Cary police Det. George Daniels for all evidence relating to the murder case, including notes, personal property, physical evidence, computers and videos.

Brad Cooper's attorney, Howard Kurtz, told Sasser Wednesday that he needed the information to explore why Daniels stated in an affidavit last week that his client's statements in a videotaped deposition were inconsistent with police interviews.

But Sasser quashed the subpoena, saying it is not appropriate to turn over such materials until someone is charged.

"I want everybody to remember this is a temporary custody hearing," she said, adding that the hearing doesn't need to prove Brad Cooper acted inconsistently with parental rights but needs to decide whether temporary custody is appropriate.

Daniels can be questioned at Thursday's hearing, she said.

"It's almost impossible to really cross-examine someone without the information that they have," Kurtz said. "But we will certainly do our best."

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings, in a motion Tuesday, called the request "a fishing expedition" in an attempt to prepare Brad Cooper's defense "to a potential criminal charge."

Brad Cooper has said his wife went jogging at about 7 a.m. July 12 and never returned. A friend reported her missing when she failed to show for an appointment.

Nancy Cooper's family has said in court documents that they do not think she ever went jogging that day.

A man walking his dog found her body in an undeveloped subdivision about three miles from the Coopers' home in Cary's Lochmere neighborhood. An autopsy found she was likely strangled.

"I think the judge has spent just an enormous amount of time and great care in making a decision in everybody's best interest," Garry Rentz said. "I’m very impressed with the resources the state has put into this matter and the care with which it has been taken."


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  • Proud Young Grandma Oct 16, 2008

    I guess because it raises the possibility that there is a killer on the loose in the area. The lady delivering newspapers (was that the Jenna people refer to?) and a few others that haven't made quite the news story that others have. I think a few months back they found a lady murdered in Raleigh (not near Cary/Raleigh border tho) and nothing has been said about that. The possiblity that it is a serial killing, a random killing or hubby doing it, are all feasible at this point.

  • WhatWereOnceVicesAreNowHabits Oct 16, 2008

    I agree,

    What makes her "Sworn Statement" any less credible than the others?

  • Proud Young Grandma Oct 16, 2008

    It amazes me how just because someone can verify that Nancy went jogging, she can be vilified by people. I guess it is because it doesn't fit in with what they believe happened to Nancy. They chose to believe all the hearsay about the case from the neighbors, but when a person who actually saw Nancy that morning tries to come forward witht he information, no one wants to listen to her. What a shame. I am sure this poor woman wil be harrassed (sp??) by Nancy's friends and family.

  • Citizen7265 Oct 16, 2008

    Maybe she was busy with her life and following what should be protocol: "Zednick also says that on at least three occasions she told police about seeing Nancy Cooper but that no one has followed up with her. She said she finally contacted Brad Cooper's attorneys and that their investigator interviewed her."

    She did not feel it was necessary to share it with the GOLO prosocution team!

  • cem2523 Oct 16, 2008

    I am APPALLED at the ignorance of some of the comments here. If you read the actual deposition.... Rosemary did contact the police NUMEROUS TIMES. The Cary PD failed to follow up on SEVERAL occasions. Rosemary did her due diligence in contacting the authorities... if they CHOSE not to contact her to collect all evidence in this case that is up to them. I would make the assumption that Rosemary was EXASPERATED by the lack of reaction on the part of Cary PD, and went to Brad Cooper's lawyers as her ONLY option to get the truth out there. For those of you stating that she couldn't possibly have only glanced at Mrs Cooper and then identified her later..... give me a break! Nancy Cooper has VERY distinguishing features. Maybe Ms Zednick is detail oriented..... you don't know.... You don't know Rosemary Zednick from Adam. She could be a saint for all you know.....Furthermore, the media CIRCUS and comments that have surrounded Rosemary Zednick following her statement are RIDICULOUS!!!

  • dukebbfan Oct 16, 2008

    Not saying he is innocent or quilty but it states in the article that this lady had told police on 3 different occassion about seeing Nancy jogging that morning and the police have not followed up with her. If that is the case then there is nothing fishy about her coming forward. It does make you wonder if some people are quick to convict the husband and not listen to other evidence.

  • pebbles262004 Oct 16, 2008

    I don't think he killed her either, I hope he has his kids back soon.If they were mine, it would be a cold day before her family saw them again...

  • MsDemeanor Oct 16, 2008

    I meant to state that as 'no sworn affidavit that we know of'.

  • MsDemeanor Oct 16, 2008

    "Did you read it? They took her statement." - Cookie Me Elmo

    They took a statement over the phone...big deal. No interview. And certainly no sworn affidavit from her like all the Cary Hens and family...which is no more than one-sided hearsay and not actual substantiated as 'eye witness' fact.

  • bresava Oct 16, 2008

    I don't mean to be ignorant, but how does the fact that she was seen at 7:10 that morning mean that Brad didn't do it, or wasn't involved. Doesn't it just say that she really did go jogging that morning? He could be telling the truth and someone else did it. He could have had someone else do it during her jog, or she could have returned home from the jog quickly for whatever reason (stomach problems or whatever) and he could have done it then. I don't know all the facts, so there may be a reason why this proves that he didn't do it?!