Local News

Judge seals search warrants in Cooper case

Posted July 21, 2008 10:54 a.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2008 5:41 p.m. EDT

— A Superior Court judge has sealed a search warrant relating to the murder investigation of a Cary woman, saying the release of the information could jeopardize the state's case or a defendant's right to a fair trial.

The order, dated July 16, requires the document, which police needed to search Nancy Cooper's home and vehicle and to get forensic evidence from her husband, Brad Cooper, be sealed for 30 days.

It could be released Aug. 16 if Cary police or the Wake County District Attorney's Office don't move to have it remain secret.

A man walking his dog found the body of Nancy Cooper, 34, a week ago just outside the Cary town limit in an undeveloped subdivision.

Brad Cooper told police his wife went jogging the morning of July 12 but never returned; a friend reported Nancy Cooper missing when she didn't show up to a planned meeting.

By law, affidavits to obtain a search warrant must contain a detailed explanation of probable cause, and they usually have specifics about what police believe happened to the victim.

Sealing search warrants allow authorities to investigate a case without disclosing information that would allow public speculation about the case.

Authorities have not named a suspect or a person of interest in the case, but have said they don't believe the slaying was random.

Brad Cooper has been cooperative with investigators, Cary police Chief Pat Bazemore said last week. On Friday, his attorney, Seth Blum, defended his client against "wild speculation" that Brad Cooper was involved.

"(Brad Cooper) has been very, very clear with police: He did not kill his wife," Blum said.

Police passed out fliers over the weekend, which is a standard investigative tool, and said Monday they have been following up on information they have received as a result.