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Death of Kenly man, 80, ruled homicide

Posted June 10, 2010

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— The Johnston County Sheriff's Office opened a homicide investigation Thursday into the death of an 80-year-old man after an autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to the head.

A relative found James E. "Tom" Cooper, dead inside his home at 111 Crumpler Road around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Kenly man's death ruled a homicide Kenly man's death ruled a homicide

An autopsy was conducted by the Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, and investigators looked for clues at the scene for most of Wednesday.

"Detectives have been assigned around the clock on this investigation and are working diligently to identify and arrest the person(s) responsible for this homicide," Tammy Amaon, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said in a statement.

A neighbor told WRAL News that Cooper's home had been broken into a couple times over the past few months.

Authorities have not commented on a motive in the slaying or said if anything was missing from the house.

Anyone with information about Cooper's death is asked to call the Johnston County Sheriff's Detectives Division at 919-989-5010.


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  • UPTOP Jun 10, 2010

    very very sad !!

  • antares911 Jun 10, 2010

    So very sad. :(

  • sweet4you Jun 10, 2010

    This saddens me somuch. The elderly are easy target for these low life creatures. I hope they get what i scoming to them. better yet, come to my house and I will give it to them.

  • 1RN2B Jun 10, 2010

    I'm so sorry 1kellyellis. My prayers are with you and the family!

  • sssh.. whisper Jun 10, 2010

    Prayers to the family of this man, especially to the relative that found him. May his killer(s) be brought to justice swiftly

  • 1kellyellis Jun 10, 2010

    Tom was a wonderful man.. he would have gave u the shirt off his back if u needed somthing.. He was a Truck driving legend an from the old school.. I can't understand how someone would could hurt him.. he was a daddy, papa & a wonderful friend.. we are gonna miss u so much... AND THIS IS TO THE PERSON WHO DID THIS ( GOD HELP YOU ) JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED ONE WAY OR ANOTHER I'LL NEVER FORGET ABOUT JAMES COOPER AKA Papa Tom RIP we love u

  • illegals--GO HOME Jun 10, 2010

    I would have gladly given him shooting lessons so he could defend his home!! Hate to see people taken advantage of simply because they are "older" adults and looked at as easy prey! Low lifes need to get a job.

  • meBNme Jun 10, 2010

    Betcha it was somebody that knew him.

    "broken into several times in a few months"???

    Someone KNEW he was an "easy tareget".

  • CarolinianByChoice Jun 10, 2010

    I agree with you whole-heartedly Mr. Middle

  • mshood7 Jun 10, 2010

    Is it me or is there an attack of monumental proportion going on in Johnston. My heart and my prayers go out to LE as they try to get a handle of what looks like unprecendeted crime spree in this area. My heart goes out to the family of this innocent 'Senior' who has yet become another crime statistic due to those with evil intent. Get 'um!