FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Fayetteville couple was arrested on Friday (Dec. 2) as suspects in the murder of a woman on Saturday (Nov. 26), police said.
Nicole Cook, 35, and Kevin Cook, 40, both of Fayetteville, are facing first degree murder charges, according to a Fayetteville Police Department press release.
Around 11 p.m. on Saturday, Heather Hill, 40, was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center, the release states. She was later pronounced dead. Hospital staff said she had several suspicious marks, some that looked like bite marks, on her body.
Officers spoke to Nicole Cook, who went to the hospital with Hill. Hill shared a home in the 2000 block of Hummingbird Lane with the Cooks.
Nicole Cook told officers that earlier in the day Hill left the house to go on a walk. She said later that night she found Hill lying on the ground in the driveway unresponsive.
She said she tried to give Hill CPR, and then called her husband to come help her. After he arrived, she said she put Hill in her husband’s truck to bring her to the hospital, because it would be faster than calling 911, according to an arrest report.
After Hill’s death, officers went to the home, where they found Kevin Cook. Both Cooks were questioned about Hill’s death. During the interviews, the couple gave several conflicting statements.
Nicole Cook eventually told officers that she made up the story about Hill going on a walk. She also said that Hill fell down and hit her head on the porch.
Both later said that Hill had been drinking earlier in the day, and then she later passed out, and had vomited, causing herself to aspirate, the report states. They told officers that they tried to give her CPR, and then put her in the truck to go to the hospital.
Officers later searched the Hummingbird Lane residence, where they found several pieces of evidence.
A medical examiner conducted an autopsy on Hill on Tuesday (Nov. 29). The report states that the medical examiner ruled that Hill died from strangulation, which couldn’t be self inflicted.
After the couple’s arrest on Friday, Nicole told officers that her husband had gotten into an fight with Hill and began choking her, the report states. She said he also grabbed the woman by her hair and threw her around “like a rag doll.” She told investigators she made up the other stories because she was afraid of her husband, whom she said had hurt her in the past.
Both Nicole and Kevin Cook have been taken to the Washington County Jail and each are being held on $250,000 bond.
Nicole Cook has a December, 16th court hearing for first-degree murder. Kevin Cook’s court date for first-degree murder is January, 11, 2017.