As jury selection for the Brad Cooper murder trial wraps up, the parents of Nancy Cooper, a slain former Edmonton woman, say they just want closure for their daughter’s death.
Garry and Donna Rentz sat down with Global Edmonton’s Laurel Clark on Tuesday for an exclusive interview talking about how they’re feeling as the trial for Brad, who is accused of killing wife Nancy, is set to begin.
"This is a long process. It will be three years in July and I don’t think any of us ever anticipated that duration," Garry told Global News.
"The kids need to have an answer about what happened to mom and I think for all of us as a family we just need this part of the process to be over whether you have a decision or you’ve re-started the investigation, we’d like this phase to be over and we have no expectation beyond that. Just, let’s have an answer."
Donna said the family is hoping that at least some positivity can come from her daughter’s death.
"Seeing everything is part of what we have to do but we are here. Nancy can’t be here. We can’t have Nancy back, but we can be a voice for Nancy in some ways and we can carry on her memory and that is what Gary and I are focusing is what we can do to take something from this tragedy and turn it into something positive," she said.
Donna says the family is focusing on raising money and awareness for Nancy’s Butterfly Fund, which is dedicated to helping women and children dealing with domestic violence.
"We are working very hard to help increase that awareness so people know where to go and how to get help," she said.
But ultimately the family just wants closure.
"At the end of it what we are really interested in is closure we would like at the end of this process to have an answer for the children, for ourselves, for our family and then just to get on with life," Garry said.
Nancy, a mother of two, was discovered in a subdivision a few miles from her Cary, North Carolina home on July 14, 2008.
Brad told police his wife had gone jogging and never returned. A medical examiner’s report suggests she was likely strangled.
In October 2008, Brad was charged with first degree murder. He has since pleaded not guilty.
The couple lived in Cary, North Carolina for eight years before Nancy’s death.
Nancy’s parents say Brad did not tell them when Nancy went missing and that they haven’t really spoken with him since then.
"But we would like to know why, if he did do this. I would like to know why. And maybe one day I’ll find out," Donna said.
Donna and Garry say their sit down with Global News will be their last interview until a verdict is reached in the trial.
The trial is expected to last six weeks.