The body of a woman found in a Wake County cul-de-sac is that of a missing North Carolina mother who vanished while jogging, police said.
Nancy Cooper, 34, went for a routine run early Saturday morning, but did not come home to meet friends as planned. Police Chief Pat Bazemore, of Cary, N.C., said Tuesday that medical examiners confirmed the body found the previous evening by a man walking his dog miles from Cooper’s home is that of the mother of two young girls.
“The search for our Nancy is over,” Bazemore said. “Nancy was murdered and our investigation is now a homicide.”
Bazemore said no suspects or persons of interest have been identified in the case. Cooper’s husband, Brad Cooper, has permitted authorities to search the couple’s home and vehicles.
“He was devastated,” Bazemore said. "He has cooperated with us today and we are still working with him.”
Brad Cooper told detectives that his wife went jogging at about 7 a.m. Saturday and didn’t return by 9 a.m. as planned. The couple were reportedly having marital problems, but friends told FOX News they didn’t think Nancy left voluntarily or that Brad had anything to do with her disappearance.
A friend of Nancy Cooper reported her missing at 2:15 p.m. Saturday when she didn't show up for a get-together. Police said Monday they didn't know why her husband wasn't the one to alert authorities that his wife had disappeared.
Bazemore added that Cooper had planned to attend Tuesday’s news conference with authorities and the woman’s family, but declined at the last minute.
“He choose not to come to the conference this evening,” she said.
Bazemore declined to comment on whether or not Cooper’s body had suffered defensive wounds and would not confirm or deny reports that Brad Cooper purchased bleach at a local convenience store just hours before his wife’s body was found.
“We do not have a suspect now,” Bazemore said. “We will not stop until we find them.”
Jeff Rentz, Nancy Cooper’s brother, thanked local authorities for their support throughout the investigation.
“Nancy’s a mother, a daughter and a sister, and that’s how we’ll keep her alive in our hearts,” he said.
Another press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday.