Six years after Jennifer Cooke’s murder, Grandview Heights police believe they may be getting closer to finding her killer – and they hope a big reward can help close the gap.
Officers discovered the body of Cooke, 35, on Aug. 11, 2013, in her apartment on Woodhill Drive. She died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
Detectives have uncovered some new information and have talked to additional people as part of their ongoing investigation, Sgt. Ryan Starns said.
“We’ve recently met with prosecutors about it,” Starns said. “We have some new information we didn’t have in 2013 and there have been some advancements in technology that can help us in our investigation.”
For the first time, police are offering a reward of $20,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
Grandview Heights City Council on Sept. 3 approved a supplemental appropriation to provide the reward money.
“We’re hoping it can help jog somebody’s memory,” Starns said. “It’s been six years, but we think there may be people out there who know more about what happened than they’ve told or who may have noticed something that they didn’t think was important at the time.”
Cooke’s vehicle was recovered in the 1000 block of Palmer Road, within walking distance of her home, Starns said.
Investigators believe the suspect, not Cooke, moved the vehicle to that location, he said.
Police want to talk to anyone who may have been in the area of Cooke’s home on Woodhill Drive, or where her vehicle was found on Palmer Road, on Aug. 8 and 9, 2013, and remember noticing anything suspicious, Starns said.
In particular, detectives are focusing on the hours between midnight and 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, he said.
The Cooke case – which police said is the most recent homicide recorded in Grandview – has remained an active investigation, Starns said.
“It’s not something we’ve filed away,” he said. “We see the case file every day and think about this case every day. We’re hoping to get people’s help so we can finally bring Jennifer’s killer to justice.”
Grandview Heights City Council member Anthony Panzera and his wife, Julie, were friends with Cooke.
“We continue to struggle with the senseless murder of our dear friend, Jennifer,” Panzera said. “I’m hopeful that (offering reward money) will encourage someone out there to bring additional information for the police to deliver the justice that she deserves.”
Those who may have helpful information are asked to call the Grandview Heights police detective bureau at 614-488-7901 or 614-340-5484.