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Memorial run to benefit domestic violence victims

Family and friends of slain Cary mom Nancy Cooper plan to remember the two-year anniversary of her death with a 5K run to benefit domestic violence victims.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Family and friends of a Cary woman whom authorities say was a "victim of domestic violence of the worst kind" plan to mark the two-year anniversary of her death with a 5K run to benefit women who are in similar situations.
The second annual Butterfly 5K Fun Run is set for 8:30 a.m. July 10 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Proceeds will go to Nancy's Butterfly Fund, which aims to help women with financial obstacles that could prevent them from leaving abusive situations.

The fund was established in 2009 memory of Nancy Cooper, whose body was found July 14, 2008, in an undeveloped subdivision less than three miles from her home.

Those close to Cooper have claimed her husband, Brad Cooper, emotionally abused his wife and cut her off from money that would have allowed her and their two children to leave the relationship.

Police arrested Brad Cooper more than three months after Nancy Cooper's death on a first-degree murder charge.

"Not only do we remember our friend, but in her honor, others are helped," said Butterfly Fund organizer Jessica Adam.

According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 84 homicides involving domestic partners in 2008. Last year, there were 68, and as of June 21, there have been 31 this year.

Brad Cooper, who has denied both the allegations of abuse and killing his wife, is in jail awaiting an October trial.

Nancy Cooper's parents, who were in Raleigh Monday to meet with prosecutors about the trial, have custody of the Coopers' two daughters.

"We know that there is a rather bittersweet moment coming in October," Nancy Cooper's father, Garry Rentz, said. "We'll be happy to have that part of our life behind us when it's over, but life goes on and we're trying to focus on the positive elements."

"There hardly is a week that goes by that we don't get a note or a letter or a phone call from someone saying they were thinking of Nancy," her mother, Donna Rentz, said. "We're just very happy to have the memories."

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