Nancy Cooper's mom gives emotional testimony

Donna Rentz, mother of Nancy Cooper

March 20, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Testimony continued Monday in the murder trial against Brad Cooper with Nancy Cooper's mom taking the stand.

Bad Cooper is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Nancy, whose partially clothed body was found by a man walking his dog in an undeveloped subdivision not far from her home on July 14, 2008 - two days after she was reported missing. She had been strangled.

Donna Rentz told jurors about July 12, 2008 when her husband's phone rang as they were leaving a funeral. He was told Nancy was missing.

Rentz had already told jurors about the couple's rocky relationship. Her daughter started questioning her decision to marry Brad Cooper a year after the couple married and moved to North Carolina.

Six-and-a-half years later the couple had two children, but the marriage was in chaos. Brad admitted to having an affair with Nancy's best friend.

He complained about Nancy overspending his $133,000 salary and put her on a budget. After Nancy filed for divorce, Nancy's parents came down for a vacation on the coast.

She told her parents he had taken the passports for her and their two daughters.

"I had Nancy in my arms," Rentz recalled. "She said, 'Mom, I just want to come home.' But she couldn't because Brad had the passports."

It was the last time Nancy's parents and her twin sister would see her alive. As soon as they heard she was missing, they flew in from Canada.

They were in town when her body was found, and they were at a memorial when Brad, who had yet to speak to them, showed up.

"I loved him," Rentz said. "I knew in my heart he had murdered my daughter."

Rentz also told jurors Brad has said only one thing to her since Nancy's death. She testified Brad told her that everything Nancy's friends were saying about him were lies.

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