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Friend of slain Cary woman says they never went jogging

In an affidavit filed Tuesday, Carey Clark says she did not jog with Nancy Cooper on July 12 and had no plans to do so that day.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A slain Cary woman never went jogging and never had plans to do so with the friend her husband thought accompanied her the morning she disappeared.

That is according to a July 24 sworn affidavit filed Tuesday from Carey Clark, who often trained for a half marathon with Nancy Cooper and another friend, Jessica Adam.

Cary police say Nancy Cooper's husband, Brad Cooper, told investigators she went jogging around 7 a.m. July 12 – he thought with Clark.

Calls to Clark were not returned Wednesday.

Adam, however, said Wednesday that Brad Cooper definitively told her that his wife went running with Clark – a claim she also makes in a July 22 affidavit.

"He said that 'Nancy went for a run with Carrie (Clarke) [sic] and she would be back soon,'" Adam said, "I immediately felt strange, because I knew that Nancy would have informed me if she was meeting Carrie for a run."

Seth Blum, an attorney for Brad Cooper, said Wednesday only that his client "thought" Nancy Cooper was running with Clark but did not know for sure.

Hundreds of people searched for Nancy Cooper for two days and posted thousands of fliers around Cary for information about her disappearance.

A man walking his dog on the evening of July 14 found her body in a pond in an undeveloped subdivision just outside Cary's town limit.

Authorities have not said how she died and have released few details about the case. They have not named a suspect but have said they do not believe the crime was random.

Meanwhile, Blum has subpoenaed Harris Teeter, where Brad Cooper went shopping for his wife early July 12 and Time Warner Cable, the telephone and Internet provider for the Coopers' home. Blum declined to say why.

In his affidavit, Brad Cooper said he went to the grocery store twice, once around 6:15 a.m. to buy milk and again around 6:30 a.m. for laundry detergent and juice.

When Nancy Cooper did not return from her jog by noon that day, Brad Cooper said, he called her friends asking for Clark's number. About an hour later, he drove by Clark's home looking for her car but did not see it, he said.

By 3 p.m., when he had "exhausted all avenues" of locating his wife "and believed that she was truly missing," Adam had already reported her missing. Brad Cooper said "there was no longer any point in my calling them again."

Nancy Cooper's family and friends have challenged Brad Cooper's claims, saying they do not believe she went jogging. At least one friend said in an affidavit that she thought he might be involved in her death.

Police, however, have not named him a suspect, and Blum has said he has been cooperative with investigators.

"(He) has been very, very clear with police," Blum said last month. "He did not kill his wife."

“I’m sure more will be revealed with time,” Tom Hollis, pastor of Cary’s St. Francis United Methodist Church, said Wednesday of the probe into Nancy Cooper’s slaying.

Hollis has organized a musical program to help people cope with the Lochmere woman's death.

“We need our faith and we need that hope because we've got to rise up. We've got to carry on, we have to. It’s hard to do without the comfort we get from faith and from each other,” he said.

The program is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at St. Francis United Methodist, 2965 Kildaire Farm Road.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
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