Nancy Cooper

Brad Cooper's laptop accessed photos where wife's body found

Posted April 13, 2011
Updated April 14, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— An FBI investigator testified Wednesday that he found evidence that, on the day before Nancy Cooper disappeared, photos of the area where her body was later found were accessed on her husband's laptop computer.

Brad Cooper, 37, is accused of killing his wife in their Cary home in the early hours of July 12, 2008, and dumping her body in a drainage ditch in an undeveloped subdivision 3 miles away.

A man discovered the body two days later while walking in the area near Holly Springs Road and Fielding Drive just outside Cary's town limits. An autopsy found Nancy Cooper, 34, had been strangled.

Chris Chappell, a Durham police detective assigned to the FBI's Cyber Task Force, said that multiple aerial photos were accessed from Google Maps on Brad Cooper's laptop computer at 1:15 p.m. on July 11, 2008, while he was at work.

"It appears to be from the area of Fielding Drive," Chappell said. "It is my understanding (that’s) where Nancy Cooper's body was found."

Chappell said that Brad Cooper's computer files showed that someone searched for the ZIP code 27518 and determined, based on the latitude and longitude, that the center of that area was Fielding Drive.

Through a more in-depth examination, Chappell said, he found that the user zoomed in on the map for multiple views of the area.

"This is from before Nancy Cooper's body was found?" Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger asked.

Fielding Drive cul-de-sac Cooper laptop had maps of body site

"That's correct," Chappell answered.

Wednesday marked the 25th day of testimony in the case for prosecutors.

Dozens of witnesses have testified about troubles in the Coopers' marriage and about Brad Cooper's behavior in the days after his wife was reported missing and her body was recovered.

But Chappell's finding, from Sept. 15, 2008, is the most significant piece of evidence in the case linking Brad Cooper to his wife's death.

Brad Cooper testified on Oct. 2, 2008, during a custody case involving his two children, that he was aware of the Fielding Drive area only because of news reports and that he had no interest in driving past the location.

Defense asks to strike FBI testimony Defense asks to strike FBI testimony

Testimony Wednesday was preceded by motions from defense attorney Howard Kurtz to strike all FBI testimony.

Kurtz said prosecutors never notified him about certain tests that agents used to recover data from the computer and that he wasn't able to properly cross-examine the witnesses.

Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner denied the requests.

Brad Cooper's defense attorneys have said their client is innocent and that Cary police ignored evidence that could have helped them find Nancy Cooper's killer.

They maintain that computers in the case were tampered with and that the FBI failed to investigate the allegations.

Brad Cooper has said that his wife went jogging around 7 a.m. on July 12, 2008, and never returned home.

A friend contacted police several hours later, saying she was concerned that she hadn't heard from Nancy Cooper, whom she expected at her house about an hour after Brad Cooper has said she left to go jogging.

814 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • golorealist Apr 14, 2011

    "seankelly.....you can tell, I am not in the law field. I can tell you may be?? I will have to leave the specifics of law to those that are. Unfortunately, I probably see this from the layman's side and take it more emotionally."

    the things that seankelly said are (or should be) common knowledge...along with the concept of the presumption of innocence...innocent until PROVEN guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • jewel08 Apr 14, 2011

    solarcableguy definitely is a basher. Get your facts straight?? Nice ....

  • jewel08 Apr 14, 2011

    seankelly.....you can tell, I am not in the law field. I can tell you may be?? I will have to leave the specifics of law to those that are. Unfortunately, I probably see this from the layman's side and take it more emotionally.

  • solarcableguy Apr 14, 2011

    Brad's flaws are not on trial.....whether he murdered his wife or not is on trial...and the evidence is building. No one said to point out flaws. No one said she was a saint. But, bashing has occured. Evidence has been bashed. You don't want to concede on one shred of evidence. YES< it is evidence. Pointing out flaws is not helping the case. They both supposedly had affairs...appears that is true by many witnesses. Evidence....toward motive. Looking up map of area where her body was found.....VERY much considered evidence. As of now, he is ON TRIAL.....NOT GUILTY ...NO.....GUILTY...>NO. BUT he is on trial, not her
    jewel08
    April 14, 2011 2:50 p.m.
    Report abuse

    We should be looking at evidence and either bashing it or agreeing with it. That is how you determine guilt or innocence. There is no mounting evidence just opinions from family, LEO, and neighbors. Get your facts straight.

  • seankelly15 Apr 14, 2011

    jewel08 - "Maybe the defense has the so called "smoking gun" that so many talk about so much."

    The concept of a 'smoking gun' belongs on the prosecution side. The defense never has to prove anything thus there could never be a 'smoking gun' on the defense side.

    "But I have seen circumstancial evidence that added up like this."

    It creates a possibility of guilt - I have said this before - it even creates a probability of guilt. We don't make legal judgments based on probability theory.

  • seankelly15 Apr 14, 2011

    jewel0 - "You don't want to concede on one shred of evidence. YES< it is evidence."

    It is all evidence - that is its legal definition. The question is how good is that evidence and how much bearing does the evidence have in deciding guilt? If a piece of evidence requires that an assumption be made to make the link to the murder then that is not good evidence.

  • Alexia.1 Apr 14, 2011

    "he brung back the milk"

    This reminds me of the officer who thought that "your phone will be erased" message meant nothing as he was told to keep going until the phone said to enter a PUCK code.

  • golorealist Apr 14, 2011

    "But I will say that there has been quite a bit of bashing going on including you golorealist you have said stuff to her and I think it is so low to bash a dead person." - so you dont like my opinion ok

    jewel couldn't do it, can you show me comments where i have bashed nc? i have discussed things that have came out in testimony, but bash her i have not.

  • jewel08 Apr 14, 2011

    just wondering.....I couldn't believe it either....

  • jewel08 Apr 14, 2011

    Brad's flaws are not on trial.....whether he murdered his wife or not is on trial...and the evidence is building. No one said to point out flaws. No one said she was a saint. But, bashing has occured. Evidence has been bashed. You don't want to concede on one shred of evidence. YES< it is evidence. Pointing out flaws is not helping the case. They both supposedly had affairs...appears that is true by many witnesses. Evidence....toward motive. Looking up map of area where her body was found.....VERY much considered evidence. As of now, he is ON TRIAL.....NOT GUILTY ...NO.....GUILTY...>NO. BUT he is on trial, not her

More...