Local News

Nationwide BOLO issued for child sex offender from Spring Lake

Posted August 28, 2014

— Police say they have issued a nationwide be-on-the-lookout alert for a Spring Lake man accused of posing as a police officer and then sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

A registered sex offender with a history of child-sex crimes, investigators say Nathan Lynn Cooley, 28, of 1317 Verlie Drive, lured the girl – walking on Odell Road to a library from school – into his vehicle by telling her he needed her help looking for his puppy.

After attacking her in a wooded area, police say, he dropped her off at a public library on Laketree Boulevard in Spring Lake.

The girl's mother reported the crime to police later that night.

Cooley is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 260 pounds. He is bald and has blue eyes and was last seen driving a beige or gold Mitsubishi Galant with a Virginia license plate.

Anyone with information about where he might be should contact the Spring Lake Police Department at 910-436-0350 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.

Spring Lake Police Chief Troy McDuffie said Thursday that he's not sure if Cooley is still in the area but is confident that he will be found.

Despite reports that Cooley contacted local media outlets professing his innocence, McDuffie said he has not heard from him.

"If he's an innocent man, (he should) come in and talk to us, give us his side of the story," the police chief said. "We've had no communication with Mr. Cooley, but we're confident that, with the facts and evidence we have, we have the right man."

Cooley was convicted of attempted rape of a 13-year-old in Currituck County in 2005 and served three years in prison and two years' probation. In 2011, he was convicted of indecent liberties with a 15-year-old in Dare County and received five years' probation.


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  • Naysayer Aug 29, 2014

    This guy needs to be locked up for good.

  • TeaBagOnLove Aug 29, 2014

    Send these deviants to Guantánamo Bay and that should solve the problem.

    Many years ago, they said that child-sex offenders do not fair well in prison, but they appear to be doing just fine these days. Let's see how they fair with the guys done in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

  • tayled Aug 29, 2014

    All these repeat offenders, want to know how to stop repeat offenders? Either never let them see the light of day with their freedom or execute them. Both ways would guarantee no repeat offenders

  • Itsmyopinion67 Aug 29, 2014

    He said he was innocent. Of course innocent people usually don't run and hide. So, he's guilty. Get this degenerate off the streets!

  • Jason Merrill Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Want to stop this from ever happening again? Either kill him or castrate him. Obviously prison and probation is not working. There is no rehabbing an individual such as this, that has been proven already by his continued predations on innocent children. More prison will just be a wasted drain on taxpayers. I would prefer death, since he could still molest children even if castrated.

  • James Grimes Jr. Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Just lock him up and throw the keys away.

  • babylaceycarpenter Aug 29, 2014

    This entire situation should not be happening. Had judges done the right thing years ago, it would not be happening. The 2 judges who allowed this sexual assault to occur, should be disbarred.

  • Cindy Rose Aug 29, 2014
    user avatar

    Major changes need to be made in laws governing molestation of children; this is unacceptable; this piece of garbage should never have seen the light of day after his first conviction. I pray daily for the lives he's ruined & for his capture.

  • miseem Aug 28, 2014

    Maybe this time, they'll give him a serious penalty. Like 8 years probation.

    Let's face it, as long as this guy is on the streets, children are at risk. Third strike, make it count this time.

  • Djofraleigh Anderson Aug 28, 2014
    user avatar

    How effective is our justice system? After the rape of an 11 yo, this suspect waited two years after getting out of prison, and/or until he was off probation before indecent liberties with a 15yo, but this time he has waited 3 years yet not until probation was over. He aged 8 years but his victims age difference has grown from 9 to 13 years younger than him. How many times has he gotten away with these actions? Criminals are not always caught the first time, and by this story, not the last time, for it happens time after time. IF he did this. He needs to come in and get his side of this out.