Spring Lake police still seeking man in sex assault case - WNCN: News, Weather

Spring Lake police still seeking man in sex assault case

Posted: Updated:
Police said Cooley has a unique tattoo on the top of his head. Police said Cooley has a unique tattoo on the top of his head.
SPRING LAKE, N.C. -

Spring Lake police are continuing to search for a registered sex offender accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

Chief Troy McDuffie of the Spring Lake Police said Thursday that a nationwide manhunt is now in effect for Nathan Cooley. A man who said he was Cooley called WNCN Wednesday night and said he would turn himself in Thursday morning.

The caller said surveillance videos would show he was elsewhere at the time of the assault.

He said, "My name is Nathan Cooley, and I am innocent. The time when this alleged offense happened I am accused of, I was at school. And after school I went to the bookstore, then I went to Marco's Pizza."

Marco's Pizza is a chain with a store in Spring Lake.

Cooley did not turn himself in Wednesday morning and police said they are not convinced he will.

McDuffie said, "Based on the facts, based on the evidence, based on probable cause given to a magistrate, we obtained warrants and he's been charged with offenses we are confident he committed."

Cooley is a registered sex offender after being convicted of previous child sex crimes, police said. The caller admitted to previous convictions as a child sex offender.

He said a detective came to his mobile home early Tuesday evening, shortly after the sexual assault was reported. However, the detective only asked a few questions and continued to canvass the neighborhood. Bernadette Carter who lives nearby also reported the detective's visit to Cooley's home and the neighborhood.

Carter said Cooley left quickly after the detective drove to other mobile homes in the neighborhood.

"He did get in his car and he was off the block before the detective was even off the block," Carter said. "It seemed like kind of fast."

Spring Lake police said Cooley, of 1317 Verlie Drive in Spring Lake, approached the victim on Tuesday while in his vehicle in the 500 block of Odell Road. Cooley told the victim he was a police officer and was looking for his dog, police said.

The child got in the vehicle and Cooley drove to a wooded area where he sexually assaulted her, police said.

The victim started crying and asking for her mother, police said. Cooley then dropped the child off at the Public Library at 101 Laketree Blvd. in Spring Lake.

The mother of the victim alerted police after the girl returned home and told her of the incident, authorities said.

RELATED ARTICLE

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesMore>>

  • Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Letter found with body of App State student, police say

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:16:12 GMT
    The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.The body of Anna Smith was discovered in a heavily wooded area in Boone.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
    The Boone Police Department said a letter was discovered with the body of an Appalachian State University student, indicating her death may have been a suicide.
  • 'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:38:35 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.
  • Urban Outfitters faces backlash for controversial sweatshirt

    Urban Outfitters faces backlash for controversial sweatshirt

    Monday, September 15 2014 12:43 PM EDT2014-09-15 16:43:43 GMT
    The website of clothing outlet Urban Outfitters featured a controversial, one-of-a-kind shirt briefly Monday morning before it sold, but not before causing a stir on the Internet.
    The website of clothing outlet Urban Outfitters featured a controversial, one-of-a-kind shirt briefly Monday morning before it sold, but not before causing a stir on the Internet.
  • Trending Stories on WNCN.com

Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.