The lawyers for Brad Cooper, the husband of a slain North Carolina woman, released store surveillance footage, receipts and photographs today in an effort to prove that their client was not involved in the unsolved July murder.
"It is our goal to restore reason to what has become an unreasonable and persecutory situation," Cooper's lawyers, Howard Kurtz and Seth Blum, said in a statement on their Web site.
Nancy Cooper was reported missing July 12, and her body was found two days later in a drainage pond in an undeveloped subdivision a few miles from her Cary, N.C., home. Her husband has told police that his wife went jogging and never returned.
While no charges have been filed in the case and Brad Cooper has not been named as a suspect, Cooper's lawyers said that "the line between fact and fiction" in the case had been "blurred" following the release of the search warrant affidavits Sept. 3, in which police appear to be suspicious of Cooper.
According to the affidavit, when police questioned Cooper on the day of his wife's disappearance, they noticed small red marks or scratches on the back of his neck but were unable to determine what caused them and said Cooper "did not provide an explanation" -- a claim Cooper's lawyers dispute.
The marks "were so insignificant" that they were "entirely gone a mere five days later," Cooper's lawyers said in a statement. The marks were never explained because he did not have them on his neck at the time of the questioning, and no one asked him about them at that time.
"Should he have had marks of any significance on his neck it is inconceivable that no other witness would have mentioned them, no officer would have photographed them and that no officer would have asked him about them," said Kurtz and Blum.
Some aspects of the affidavits were not addressed by Cooper's lawyers.
According to the affidavits, police searched Cooper's computer, looking for documents that may have contained information on how to kill someone or dispose of a body. Police also apparently found Cooper cleaning the morning his wife disappeared unusual.
"The information provided by Brad Cooper regarding the extensive cleaning of the residence ... is not consistent with information gathered from multiple interviews with individuals who knew Brad and Nancy extensively during their marriage," according to the police affidavit.
Police also said Brad Cooper had cleaned the trunk of his wife's car but not the interior. Cooper told police he had spilled gasoline in the trunk, but police didn't smell gas or cleaning fluid, according to the affidavit.
Countering rumors that Cooper bought bleach the morning of his wife's disappearance the lawyers posted surveillance footage from the local convenience store, Harris Teeter, as well as receipts for his purchases.
"What is clear from these images is that Brad Cooper went to Harris Teeter in daylight hours," the lawyers' said. "He did not purchase bleach."
According to the statement, Cooper made two trips to the market on the morning in question -- once to get milk to calm down his youngest daughter and another time to pick up laundry detergent and juice. Receipts that appear to show these purchases were posted on the lawyers' Web site.
"It bears mentioning that the Tide detergent did not contain any bleach at all," read the statement.