Police still working to solve Cooper murder

July 18, 2008 6:43:04 AM PDT
The family of a Cary woman found dead at a construction site has filed a request to take custody of her two young daughters.

This development comes as police continue to search for clues in the death of Nancy Cooper.

Claims made in custody order:

  • Brad Cooper attempted suicide as a teenager and threatened suicide in Winter 2008
  • Nancy Cooper never went jogging on July 12
  • In months prior to murder, Brad Cooper emotionally abused Nancy and the children
  • Brad Cooper "yelled" and "belittled" Nancy in the presence of her children
  • Brad Cooper withheld money from Nancy
  • Nancy was forced to borrow money from her family to buy groceries and necessaries for her and the kids
  • Brad Cooper carried on a sexual relationship with another woman

Click here to view the petition

According to court documents, the custody is temporary and a full hearing will be held later this month.

The petition claims Brad Cooper is unstable and under "intense scrutiny...as a result of the ongoing criminal investigation of Nancy Cooper's murder..."

It also reads, "There is a substantial risk of bodily injury to the children while in the defendant's custody and that the children may be abducted or removed from the state of North Carolina."

Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said her department has nothing to do with the civil custody, but "that said, any information that comes from the civil matter will be considered by our investigators."

During Thursday morning's press conference, the Rentz family did not discuss the custody issue, but they did talk about Nancy's death.

Nancy's family explained why they have been silent at the police briefings.

"This is the single most important heart rendering tragedy that has ever befallen our family," Nancy's mother Donna Rentz said. "I'm really having difficulty dealing with it. And I'm sorry that we have tended not to speak at these sessions."

Nancy, 34, was found dead 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.

She was reported missing Saturday after not showing up at a friend's home. Brad Cooper, Nancy's husband told police he last saw Nancy leaving their home for a jog around 7 a.m. Saturday.

Nancy's parents, brother and identical twin sister have been present at press conferences held by Cary Police this week. Brad Cooper, who has been absent from this week's press conferences, is said to be staying with friends.

Chief Bazemore says Cooper continues to be cooperative with investigators. Cooper has not been named a suspect or person of interest in the investigation. "Ruling things out is just as important as ruling things," said Bazemore.

The couple's two children, ages 4 and 2, are now in the custody of Nancy's parents and twin sister.

In the petition, Nancy's father Garry Rentz and Nancy's twin sister Krista Lister asked to take the children to Canada. Her father and sister argue Bradley Cooper was having an affair, is emotionally unstable and poses a danger to the children.

"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.

"I have a bond with Nancy that no one in the world has," Nancy's twin sister Krista Lister said. "All I have to do to remember her is look in the mirror."

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.

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."

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 taken 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.

Family and friends will hold a private vigil for Nancy Cooper Friday. Strangers and the media are not invited.


Load Comments