Local News

Memorial dedication held for Nancy Cooper

Posted October 12, 2008 6:20 p.m. EDT
Updated January 23, 2019 2:43 p.m. EST

— Friends of a slain Cary mother gathered Sunday for a small ceremony to dedicate a memorial to her. Nancy Cooper's family flew from Canada to Cary to be at the ceremony held at Regency Park.

The event came a few days after her husband's video deposition was filed in Wake County court as part of a dispute between him and her family over custody of the Coopers' two daughters.

“We feel at home here, as she did. And you have all done her proud through your love and support,” said Jill Dean, Nancy Cooper's sister.

Those who showed up Sunday to support the family were mostly close friends of Nancy Cooper.

Cooper, 34, was reported missing July 12 when she failed to meet up with a friend as planned. Two days later, authorities recovered her body, wearing little clothing, in an undeveloped subdivision less than three miles from her home.

According to the autopsy report, she was strangled in "homicidal violence." The report also states there was no other trauma to the body other than a faint mark on her neck and a bone fracture in the same area.

Police have not named a suspect or any persons of interest in her death. Much of what the public knows of their investigation, largely from court documents, has focused on Brad Cooper, however. Through his attorneys, he has adamantly denied being involved in his wife's death.

Brad Cooper was not at Sunday's ceremony. 

In the seven-hour video deposition filed in Wake County District Court on Thursday afternoon, Brad Cooper detailed his account of the morning his wife disappeared, an extramarital affair he had with a co-worker's wife and other details about how the couple was having marital issues, including financial problems caused by his wife's excessive spending.

"She spent more than we had, which was unfortunate, and she drank a little more than I would have wanted her to," he said.

Cooper's parents, Garry and Donna Rentz, declined to comment on their son-in-law's deposition. They say they are pleased with how the investigation is going, although no arrests have been made.

The family is staying in Cary until a custody hearing later this week.

A judge could decide whether the Rentzes and Cooper's twin sister will get permanent custody of Coopers' daughters, or if the girls will be returned to their father.

Regardless of the outcome, Donna Rentz said Sunday she will not return to her job.

“I am going to take time and spend it with people that are important to me,” Donna Rentz said.

A granite bench dedicated Sunday in Nancy Cooper's honor was donated by Kerry and Heather Zorzi. It overlooks Cary's Symphony Lake and reads, "You are my sunshine."  The inscription comes from a song Nancy Cooper used to sing to her daughters.