MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The son-in-law of a couple found murdered inside their McMinnville home was arrested early Tuesday morning in northeast Florida on criminal homicide charges.
Bryan Cooke was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday at 3 a.m. Tuesday in Jacksonville, Florida one day after being added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Most Wanted” list.
The sheriff’s office posted on twitter that Cooke was located at a hotel on Jacksonville’s west side. A Jeep that had been stolen from the residence of Gail and Gary Dodson in McMinnville was recovered in the parking lot of a nearby Jacksonville business.
At of the time he was located, Cooke appeared to be in medical distress and was transported to a local hospital to be evaluated. He has since been booked.
Gary and Nancy “Gail” Dodson were found in their Tony’s Lane home around 5:30 a.m. by a relative after they did not show up for work and employees became concerned.
Details on their cause of death were not immediately known.
Warrants for Cooke’s arrest on two counts of criminal homicide were issued Monday.
Warren County Sheriff Jackie Matheny said it appears Cooke, who has a history of theft convictions and probation violations, tried to hide his own vehicle behind an building at the couple’s home.
According to the arresting officer’s report, an alert receptionist at the hotel Cooke stopped at called officers.
She told officers that a man, later identified as Cooke, approached her asking for help in getting a room. He told her that his Jeep broke down and he parked it at a Burger King, but forgot which one because he was unfamiliar with the area.
He told her his knee popped out and in several times while he was walking.
The receptionist told officers that he asked for help instead of a room, did not have a photo ID, and had a “wad” of cash on him.
He paid for a room, and the receptionist was further alerted when he dialed 911 from a phone within the room. All calls are routed through the front desk phone, and she went to check on the man.
She heard moaning but was unable to get into the room, so she contacted authorities.
The responding officer knocked on the hotel room door, but did not receive a response. Fire rescue was called to the scene to get through the door, but authorities were still blocked out of the room due to furniture blocking the way.
The officer spotted the legs of a man lying on the bed and was able to move a desk blocking the door.
Once inside, the officer discovered Cooke lying nude on the bed with a bundle of cash next to him, breathing but not responsive.
He was woken up and his vitals were taken, but did not respond to questions. He allegedly only gave a blank stare.
He was transported for medical evaluation.
The officer discovered Cooke’s clothing on the bathroom floor soaked with water. He found his photo ID and discovered the warrants out for his arrest.
Cooke was booked and is being held as a Fugitive from Justice by Florida authorities, pending extradition. Bond was set at $2,000,000.