'Wonderful soul' victim of rare city homicide
Grandview police investigating city's first killing since 2000
Grandview Heights police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the city's first homicide in more than a decade.
Officers found the body of Jennifer L. Cooke, 35, of 886 Woodhill Drive, late Sunday night, Aug. 11, in the second-floor bedroom of her home. She had been stabbed multiple times, the Franklin County Coroner's Office reported Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Cooke, who was a clinical research data coordinator in the hematology division at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, had not been seen for several days. Officers had been dispatched to the residence to perform a well-being check and found "suspicious circumstances" when they arrived, according to a statement released by the police department.
Grandview police called the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to the scene after discovering Cooke's body inside the house.
Investigators have found evidence that a robbery may have occurred at the residence, according to police.
Cooke's vehicle was found at a separate location from her home. The vehicle was impounded and is being processed for evidence.
Investigators are following several leads and had conducted a number of interviews by Monday afternoon, Aug. 12, according to police.
Grandview Heights City Councilman Anthony Panzera and his wife, Julie, were friends with Cooke.
That Cooke was killed "is immeasurably senseless," Panzera said. "The tragedy is beyond description.
"Jennifer was remarkably kind, warm, amazingly gentle and very caring," he said. "She was a friend to anyone that she would meet."
Cooke's daughter attends Edison Intermediate/Middle School. The school district sent an email blast Aug. 12 to parents letting them know grief counseling would be available to students. The new school year began Wednesday, Aug. 14.
"It's a loss for Julie and me personally, but it's also a loss that will personally impact a lot of people in our community," Panzera said.
"I think this has shaken up a lot of people in our community. We can just hope whoever did this is caught very soon and then convicted."
A ripple of fear will grip the community -- which had not seen a homicide since 2000 -- until the killer is found and a motive determined, he said.
"As a friend, a community member and a council member, I know the police are making all the efforts they can to find the person who committed this despicable act," Panzera said.
"This just doesn't make any sense," he said. "Jennifer was such a wonderful soul."
Mayor Ray DeGraw issued a statement Aug. 13 to reassure residents.
"The city believes this is an isolated incident, and there is no indication that the general public is at any risk," DeGraw said.