GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district community is mourning the loss of a GCMS High School graduate who was reportedly murdered last week in Tennessee, along with her 4-month-old child.
Heather Cook was a 2005 graduate of Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School. The 32-year-old and her child, Bentley Cook, were found dead and the baby’s father charged with their murder following a house fire Friday morning in Memphis, Tenn.
“It is with great sadness that we heard about the tragic loss of former GCMS student Heather Cook and her child,” GCMS Superintendent Jeremy Darnell said in a statement Monday. “Heather was an active member of the GCMS community for most of her school years and left a very positive impact on friends and classmates. The GCMS community mourns the loss and extends our deepest sympathies to all of Heather’s family and friends.”
The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that Ms. Cook and her child were found dead with multiple stab wounds inside the burning home. The child’s father, 25-year-old Enoch P. Zarceno-Turner, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated arson, aggravated child abuse and neglect, and tampering with/fabricating evidence.
Zarceno-Turner and Ms. Cook had recently argued over custody issues, according to information in an affidavit. However, a Cook family spokesperson told a Memphis television station that the issue was over child support and Ms. Cook had recently filed court documents and a DNA test was ordered.
Authorities said Zarceno-Turner changed his story multiple times when speaking with police, but he admitted to entering the home. He said he saw Ms. Cook and the child laying unresponsive, then fled the scene and did not call police.