Local News

New details revealed in Nancy Cooper murder case

Posted March 4, 2011 8:52 p.m. EST
Updated March 7, 2011 11:44 a.m. EST

— As jury selection continues in the first-degree murder trial of a Cary man accused of killing his wife, homicide investigators are still looking at what could be key evidence in the case, a search warrant released Friday suggests.

Brad Cooper, 37, is set to go to trial next week in the July 2008 death of his wife, Nancy Cooper, 34.

Cary police returned an Oct. 19, 2010, search warrant Friday to Wake County Superior Court for a Samsung Blackjack cell phone that belonged to Brad Cooper while he worked as an IT engineer deploying Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems for Cisco Systems.

VOIP essentially allows users to make telephone calls on a computer network.

Brad Cooper told investigators that he received a call from his wife on the date that she disappeared, according to an affidavit that was included with the warrant, and that cell phone records indicate that he did receive a call from the couple’s home phone.

But investigators suggest that because of his expertise in VOIP, he might have made the call himself.

“Brad Cooper’s cellular telephone had Internet capabilities, and therefore, his cellular telephone had the technological capabilities to generate a telephone call from a remote location to his cellular telephone,” the affidavit states.

Brad Cooper's attorney, Howard Kurtz, said Friday that police found no evidence that his client “spoofed” the call.

According to court documents and the deposition Brad Cooper gave when his slain wife’s parents challenged him for custody of the couple’s two children, he said he made two trips to a Harris Teeter several minutes from the couple’s home on the morning of July 12.

The first trip was around 6:15 a.m. to buy milk. When he returned home, he left a few minutes later to buy laundry detergent, he has said. While driving on the second trip to the store, he has said, Nancy Cooper called him to ask him also to pick up some juice.

Around 7 a.m., according to court documents, Brad Cooper said his wife went jogging.

Around noon that day, a friend called 911, concerned that something might have happened to Nancy Cooper. That set off a massive search that ended two days later when a man walking his dog found her body in a drain ditch in an undeveloped subdivision approximately three miles from the Cooper home.

According to medical examiners, Nancy Cooper was likely strangled.

Brad Cooper was arrested Oct. 27, 2008, in the case and is now awaiting trial. Opening statements could begin as early as Tuesday, but attorneys are still looking for jurors.

By Friday afternoon, nine had been seated.