Police asking for help in Cooper family murder case
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Ten years ago Saturday, a mother and her three children were found dead in their Northeast Lubbock home. Lubbock Police are asking the public to help solve this cold case on the grim anniversary.
"I've been to a lot of crime scenes and I can tell you that this one was like walking into a nightmare," said Detective Ray Martinez with the Lubbock Police Department.
Tammie Cooper, her 11-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old twin boys were found beaten and stabbed to death back on October 25, 2004. Their bodies were found inside of the Woodcrest Estacado Apartments, which are now called Mission Square Apartments. At the time of the murders, Lubbock police called the crime one of the most brutal homicides they had ever seen.
"The boys would've been 19 years old, her daughter would've been 21. It's just a different type of crime scene when you have that many children inside a crime scene," said Detective Martinez.
"We have moved forward in this case, seems like every year we will get a little something and it brings us a little bit closer and sometimes we end up having more questions about things that we already know based on some of the calls that we get. We want to keep encouraging the public that anybody that knew Ms. Cooper, or knows somebody that knew her, we're interested in talking to them."
Over the years, and through the course of their investigation, police learned about a phone call Tammie and a friend were having the night before she was killed. Police believe, during that phone call, a man named "Butch" came to the home and got into an argument with Tammie. After that, the phone disconnected.
"We found a witness that was talking to the victim probably about 10:30 the previous night, which would've been the 24th. They were talking on the phone and there was a knock on the door. The witness says one of the children, one of the boys, she heard him open the door and a male voice, which she described as a very deep voice, she could hear the male voice telling Tammie Cooper to get off the phone that they needed to talk," he said.
"She doesn't call out for help, she doesn't ask the friend to call 911 or anything, so that tells us it was somebody that she knew. The victim did make a comment to her friend, because the witness asked her who is that, and she said his name is Butch, but he's not from here. It was somebody that came in and pretty much would've been one of the last persons to have visited with the victim or to that apartment that night."
In an interview with Sgt. Jason Lewis with the Lubbock Police Department during last year's anniversary, he said justice needs to be served.
"This person needs to be behind bars where they are not going to do this to any other people," Lewis said.
Lubbock Police say they have made multiple trips to Dallas over the past 10 years. They say that is where Tammie and her children lived before they moved to Lubbock. They had only lived in Lubbock for six months when they were killed.
A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and indictment. In the meantime, police say they will not give up.
"This family deserves some sort of justice and closure. We don't need people like that in our community running loose," Lewis said.
If you have any information on this case, please call Crime Line at 741-1000.
Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.