Police search Cooper's home, cars for clues

July 17, 2008 6:36:39 AM PDT
Police are searching the home and two cars of Nancy Cooper after determining her death was a homicide.

For a second night in a row, friends of Nancy's met with psychologists at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cary to learn how to cope with the loss and what to tell their children.

Tuesday a medical examiner confirmed the identification of Nancy Cooper's body, which was found Monday.

Her body was found by a man walking his dog Monday evening in the Oaks at Meadow Ridge neighborhood, which is under construction. It is in a 5-mile radius of the Cooper home.

"Nancy is a mother, daughter and sister, and that's how we'll keep her alive in our hearts," Nancy's brother, Jeff Rentz, said. Cooper's parents, brother and identical twin sister were present at Tuesday's press conference and Wednesday's press conference.

In Edmonton Canada, where Nancy Cooper grew up, her younger sister is dealing with her murder.

"The best kind of person. She was an amazing mom and best friend." Nancy's sister Jill Dean said. "I just can't think of a better person."

Nancy's husband, Brad Cooper, who was absent from both press conferences, is staying with friends as he cares for the couple's two children ages 4 and 2.

Wednesday afternoon, Kurtz and Bloom, attorneys for Brad Cooper released the following statement:

"Brad is devastated by the news of Nancy's death. He has and will continue to assist in law enforcement efforts to bring his wife's killer or killers to justice. To avoid jeopardizing the investigation, he will not be answering any questions from the press. We ask that anyone with information about Nancy's death please convey what you know to the appropriate authorities immediatly. We also ask everyone to respect his family's privacy during this difficult time."

Wednesday morning police obtained a search warrant for forensic evidence -- allowing investigators to search the couple's Cary home and two cars. "We still believe this is an isolated case and we don't have a person of interest or suspect at this time," Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said.

Police have called the house a possible crime scene, leaving with bags of evidence and what appears to be a laptop computer.

Police also plan to take DNA from Brad.

Chief Bazemore addressed the question of a possible video of Brad buying bleach. "We cannot comment at this time," she said.

Police are not saying what kind or how much evidence has been collected from the scene where the body was discovered. Authorities have not said whether Nancy was killed where her body was found, somewhere else or at her home.

"The last time that she [Nancy] was seen was by her husband, Brad Cooper, just before she was to go out for a jog, about 7 o'clock," Bazemore said.

Police say over the last two days Brad Cooper allowed police to search without one. Chief Bazemore said Brad has been cooperating with police, letting them search two cars Monday night and giving them a purse.

"We've had a police car outside Brad's home and following him," Bazemore said. "We've also had a police car for her family, to do anything for them to make this less difficult."

Reporters at the news conference asked about Brad's reaction to his wife's death. "He was devastated," Bazemore responded.

Many of the questions for police during the press conference focused on Brad Cooper, the couple's reported marital problems.

"It doesn't make you feel safer, it just makes you feel sad more than anything. I just hate that it happened to her, no matter what happened hopefully it will come to justice," Nancy Cooper's neighbor Heather Benicek said.

Meanwhile rumors circulate around the Cary community and the internet.

Chief Bazemore responded to one of them during the presser, "We cannot confirm or deny whether he was at the store and whether he did purchase bleach or any kind of cleaning products the morning of her disappearance."

Chief Bazemore also said she is confident her staff will wrap up the case and bring the killer to justice.

"The Wake County Sheriff's Office and the Cary Police Department are working this case together," Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said.


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