Crime

Jogger still missing in Cary

Dozens of friends and strangers gathered early Sunday morning to search for a missing mother of two who hasn't been seen since Saturday.

Nancy Cooper, 34, left her home on Wallsburg Court at 7 a.m. Saturday for a jog and did not return, police have said. She was expected back by 9 a.m.

A neighbor, Diana Duncan, said Cooper was on foot and wasn't carrying identification. Duncan was helping organize the volunteer search from the Lochmere Pavilion shopping center off Kildaire Farm Road.

Duncan said she has known Cooper since Cooper moved to Cary from Canada eight years ago. She said Cooper's husband, Brad Cooper, was at home Sunday with the couple's two young daughters, ages 4 and almost 2.

"She's the best mom around," Duncan said. As many as 70 people helped with the search Sunday morning, she added.

Police described Cooper as white, 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 120 pounds. She has hazel eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a T-shirt, running shorts and light blue running shoes.

Investigators are treating Cooper's disappearance as a missing-person case, said Deanna Boone, a town spokeswoman.

"They are trying to eliminate areas, looking at the different running trails where she might have gone," Boone said Sunday afternoon.

Boone said Cary police had help in the search from a National Guard helicopter, the Wake County Sheriff's Office and the Garner-based Rescue Extrication Delivery Specialists search team. Cooper's husband was the last person to see her Saturday, Boone said.

In training

Cooper is very athletic and was training for a half- marathon, Duncan said.

Friends described her as outgoing, active and devoted to children. Her disappearance left them stunned.

"It's just overwhelming. It's hard to get your head around," said Theresa O'Driscoll, who has known Cooper for about four years. "It just doesn't make sense."

O'Driscoll was helping coordinate search zones around Lochmere Lake, which is south of Tryon Road. "We just tried to divide up popular trails," she said.

Volunteers fanned out through the Lochmere area of Cary, putting up fliers as they went. After about three hours of searching, Duncan said volunteers were running out of nearby places to look.

"I don't want to leave," she said. "I keep hoping someone's going to call."

Anyone with information is asked to call Cary Police at 469-4016.

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