Heather Cook was a single mother navigating the pressures of raising a child on her own. Months ago, she unexpectedly conceived with a man who reportedly abandoned her. Seeking online support, Cook shared a troubling post to a Facebook group that detailed her struggles in securing child support from the baby’s unwilling father.
When Cook told the man she was pregnant, he asked her to “remedy the situation,” according to the Facebook post, and stopped talking to her. He admitted he was dating another woman, blamed Cook for ruining his life, and called her a “piece of s--t.”
Cook's family verified that she was the author of the Facebook post, according to local affiliate Fox 13.
“He can’t believe that I’m asking for any support for a baby that he helped to create,” Cook wrote. “He thinks since he offered to pay for an abortion that he shouldn’t have to pay me anything now.”
The man, who was dating a different woman at the time, refused to pay Cook child support, despite “blowing his money on going out drinking and buying parts for his several cars,” she said.
But, two weeks after posting her message to the online group, the single Tennessee mother was dead, police say.
Enoch Zarceno-Turner, 25, is accused of stabbing Cook and her 4-month-old son, Bentley, to death, after which, authorities say, he tried to torch the family’s home to cover up any evidence.
He was arrested on Sept. 14 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated arson, tampering with or fabricating evidence and aggravated child abuse, according to online court records.
Authorities were called to the single mother’s home after the woman’s sister discovered Cook unresponsive and her house filled with smoke. The woman later identified Zarceno-Turner as the father of Cook’s child and told police about the custody issues the two were having.
“The victims were both found to have multiple stab wounds and the residence was found to be partially burned, primarily in the area the victims were discovered,” an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com stated.
A fire marshal said that the fire appeared to have been set intentionally, according to the affidavit.
Detectives discovered Zarceno-Turner’s vehicle had been spotted by a police license plate reader in the vicinity of Cook’s residence around 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 13 — roughly the time of the murder. Following his arrest, the Memphis man admitted he had stopped by Cook’s house that morning — and that he entered her home by crawling in the back window. Once inside, he told police, he found Cook and her son, who appeared to be dead. Zarceno-Turner admitted to fleeing the property, but investigators said he never called an ambulance or the police. While in custody, authorities said, he “changed his story several times.”
Zarceno-Turner was arraigned on Monday. A bond hasn’t yet been set for his case and it’s unclear if he’s retained legal counsel. The 25-year-old doesn’t appear to have a past criminal history, apart from several traffic misdemeanors.
John Morris, a public information officer for Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, declined to comment on his department’s investigation.
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