Local News

Cooper search warrants will stay sealed until September

Posted August 18, 2008 2:57 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2008 10:07 p.m. EDT

— A judge on Monday ordered three search warrants to stay sealed until Sept. 2 in the ongoing murder investigation into the death of Nancy Cooper.

Cooper, 34, was found dead in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary’s town limit on July 14, two days after a friend reported her missing.

Prosecutors filed a motion Friday asking that the documents, which were supposed to be released this month, be temporarily kept from public view, saying that making the information public could hurt the case.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Amy Fitzhugh said Monday that they felt the same way as they did July 31, when there was an initial hearing on whether the documents should be unsealed.

Amanda Martin, an attorney representing Capitol Broadcasting Co. – the parent company of WRAL News – and The News & Observer Publishing Co., said it was the state's burden to prove why the integrity of the investigation could not be protected any other way.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said he needs to balance all interests in the case and that his view has not changed on the matter.

One of documents allowed police to search the home and vehicles of Nancy Cooper and her husband, Brad Cooper, as well as to obtain DNA samples from Brad Cooper. That warrant originally was sealed for 30 days and had been expected to be released Monday.

Another warrant was for Brad Cooper's office at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park. The third was for an undisclosed location.

Authorities have said they do not believe Nancy Cooper's slaying was a random crime, but they have not named a suspect or person of interest in the case. They've said little else about the case since then.