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Infant body recovered as search team endures freezing temperatures



Authorities found the body of an infant in the Draper area Thursday night, but couldn’t confirm whether it is that of five-month-old Cory Samuel Cole, who was last seen with his father in Pulaski around 7 p.m. Monday.

In a press conference near the crime scene, off Draper Valley Road (service road F-064), Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche confirmed investigators were “in the process of recovering an infant child body fitting the size and description” of Cory.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis said interrogation of the suspect, Cory’s father, Howard Samuel Cole, tipped off officials to the location to search, which began around 4 p.m. Thursday.

Teams only had to traverse about a mile of territory before locating the body, in a wooded area, according to police. A search dog and ATVs were used in the search.

Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis declined to discuss the condition of the body or its surroundings.

“We’ll be here for probably a considerable while longer. This is just the beginning of this investigation,” said Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche. “There are hours and hours (of work), but we’ll be here until it’s done.” He thanked the sheriff’s department for their assistance in the search for Cory and body investigation, calling it a “team effort.”

Positive identification of the body and cause of death is pending an autopsy at the state medical examiner’s office in Roanoke.

Cory’s father, Howard Cole, was arrested Thursday morning on a child abuse charge filed earlier this week. No other charges have yet been filed.

Roche said the investigation has been going “full throttle” since authorities learned of an incident in which Howard Cole allegedly had abused Cory Sunday. Roche has declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the abuse charge.

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office took Cole into custody around 10:30 a.m. Thursday in an area behind the Fairlawn Walmart. Cole wasn’t at a residence or in a car at the time and Roche said he doesn’t believe Cole gave officers any trouble during the arrest.

Although Cole did have “some kind of custody arrangement” with the child’s mother, Roche said he wasn’t certain of the details.

Authorities received a report Wednesday accusing the father of having abused his son Sunday. A felony warrant was obtained for Howard Cole and a search for him and the infant ensued.

Police searched Cole’s residence on Crestline Drive Wednesday night.

Cole also is awaiting trial in Pulaski County Circuit Court on a charge of grand theft auto stemming from a September incident. He was indicted by the January grand jury and is scheduled to appear in court February 21 for setting of the court date.

Last April, he was listed in Pulaski Police Department’s Most Wanted for a third offense petit larceny charge. At that time, his last known address was listed as 123 Crestline Drive.



20 Responses to Infant body recovered as search team endures freezing temperatures

  1. Me

    February 4, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I have been so ill over the death of this baby I don’t normally make comments but I have read so much my head is spinning To start I don’t know this family and not trying to judge anyone Im to understand that neither the mother or father had custody of this child so we need to look at who did and why did it take so long to report the abuse I believe a lot more will surface that will shock our small town It seems the mother was out visiting her new boyfriend instead of being home with her children My thoughts and prayers are for the other sibling involved and that their lives can be changed for the better I was so sick to hear the mother defend the father for this death What more does she really know or was she involved and left the house for a cover up ho know but I believe our local police will get to the bottom of the truth

  2. Friend of a family member

    February 4, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I just want to say, YOU have it all wrong. I will not spill my guts on here but you are so wrong about the mother. Just know this. I have spoken with a family member in which I am very close to, they have nothing good at all to say about the mother. In fact, the facts are heartbreaking.

  3. geegee

    February 5, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Sad, sad day for that baby boy. So many people would have loved him and gave him a safe and happy home. Rest In Peace Cory, you’re safe now.

  4. Nicole

    February 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Did the “mother” report the abuse?? I’ve “heard” it was their neighbor.

  5. Ninny

    February 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Here we meet again Va.girl. Seems the popular opinion is against you this time.
    To all the other thoughts posted here, one or two things stand out
    1. Everything is being based on word of mouth except
    a. An innocent child is deceased.
    b. He was found in a shallow grave.
    2. He was last seen alive with a man “who donated his sperm” to create him. I would never call this person a father or daddy.
    3. He was reportedly abused by the man on Sunday.
    4. Abused was reported Wed.
    5. The mother’s car was found in Dublin.
    6. Mr. Cole was arrested in Fairlawn on Thursday.

    The police got the report Wed. Please fill in the blanks here for me
    A. Baby last seen with father Mon.
    B. Father seen in Dublin Wed.
    Where was baby Wed?
    How did man get from Dublin to Radford?

    Concerned and caring people a lot of questions and blank spaces. Besides the above I am glad to note I was not the only one to note the mother uncaring attitude and lack of compassion for her child.
    One can only wonder and worry about the remaining siblings and their welfare. I have not seen “the mother’s side” as reported in the paper yesterday. Personally, her side matters no more than his side. She knew what this man was like from her own experiences with him yet she as an adult chose to stay with him and leave her child with him. She lost one child I would think she would take better care of the remaining 3. Blue hair? How childish when you are at a vigil for your baby.
    Anyway, Amber Alert does not seem to have made any difference with this time frame unless someone can fill in the blanks from Sunday until Wed on where he and especially the baby were at.
    This is a tragedy that in all likelihood could have been prevented if steps had been taken on numerous levels.
    It is so very sad an heartbreaking to each of us. Our police departments did an excellent job considering they were not alerted until Wed. How could they have prevented something they knew nothing about?
    I hope a lot of these unknowns will soon be known. Maybe a lesson will be learned and this will not be repeated. A child, an innocent child had to pay for stupid and cruel adults lack of caring, brains, and compassion.

  6. Lola

    February 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    After hearing about this very real tragedy your concern is how many people may agree or disagree with another poster?

    Previously, another poster suggested taking all of this passion and doing soemthing kind for another at risk child. I will rise to that challenge and am done with this childish display of “I know more about this than you”.

  7. LT

    February 5, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    To friend of a family friend– agree.

  8. Utah Girl

    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Cory, you were a beautiful baby boy. I would love to have had you and kiss those sweet little cheeks.
    You are now safe in Jesus’s arms. Jesus needed another precious angel in his kingdom.

  9. Ninny

    February 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for not postings last comment was uncalled for

    • Versal

      February 6, 2014 at 3:23 pm


  10. Joyce

    February 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    This is a tradegy with no measure. The only innocent parties are Jesus Christ and Cory. I can only hope that our responisble population will take hold and learn from this. Someone other than the human creators of this child must have known something and could have spoken up to possibly have prevented this innocent loss of life. When your life ends so quickly, hardly before it began rest assured that this little one is now protected from further harm in the arms of God. I know of someone who spoke up and because of it stopped unspeakable sex acts against innocent children. Thank God for their courage. Wake people, speak up for the sake of the innocent.

  11. puzzled

    February 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    What a busy-body you are Va Girl! That was a totally different story that happened over in Christiansburg at the Red Robin. The guy was not from around here and the cops caught him in Pulaski before an Ambert alert was even issued. Get your story straight!SMH!!

  12. Va Girl

    February 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    As I posted, I couldn’t find the article and it may be been I remembered wrong. Busybody? Far from it. Just interested in the truth as all of us are.

    I want to say one thing. A poster I believe (I THINK anyway) goes by concerned is always posting about the cheerleader coach how we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Everyone (including myself) bashes them. Going forward I’ll not do so because on this topic everyone is totally incorrect about not only my opinions of the case, but their opinion of me as a person although we’ve never met.

    As for the mom’s statements, I”m not sure what she’s thinking, but don’t you all think she’d likely speaking out of duress? I certainly hope so because she may be grieving over the fact she trusted this man and now feels responsible.

  13. Mommy of 2

    February 4, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    @ myra you are so right, they could have issued a amber alert if they wanted. My uncle, a retired state police officer said so his self. Also they would have taken it more seriously. So now yall know if your children go missing in Pulaski County call the STATE police. The police department did what they HAD to do, nothing more. I mean this tragidy could have been un heard of had the “mother” of opended her mouth before he went “missing” about the abuse on the 26.. Or even used her better judgment, if she has any before she laid down and made kids with that monster. Which btw she has two daughters who need prayers also, and someone capable of protecting them.

    @ VA girl you shouldnt get so offend, your the one that made yourself come off that way, any one that read your comments can see that. Myra didnt call you “low-life”or “wicked” just a know it all. And shes right.

  14. Va Girl

    February 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    nope. I am far from knowing it all. Bewilders me anyone would think that. I have realized that although I didn’t think I was emotionally involved in this case I clearly am. Most of us probably are.

    As for the description I used it’s because I feel people who believe they know it all are wicked or worse because no one knows it all. NO one. Again I will give you credit where it’s due. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to get offended and shrugged off her comment because it was untrue.

  15. Mommy of 2

    February 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Of course every one is going to have an opinion and usually I would say there is no wrong opinions, opinions are great, it means people are thinking and we definitly need more of that in this world. But I just feel like this is something we can all agree on, such as the “father” should of been in jail with what hes already done, the “mother” should be held accountable for not reporting the abuse on the day it happened, and an amber alert should have been issued and they could have done that its happened before you can google it since you perfer the internet over google, I dont really see the difference.

  16. myra albert

    February 4, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Va Girl, I am sorry I did not mean to offend you or anyone elce.This has just been a very emotional situation for everyone. I think in times like this anger takes over because there was nothing that we could do to save this beautiful little boy. Its easy to loose focas on whats really important ,its not about us and how we feel the important thing is to honor this baby and try to do our best to look out for other children ( relatives, neighbors, any child that we come in contact with) so that this terrible tragedy wont happen again. We all need to be more aware of whats going on around us and if we see any thing at all Call the Police! We all need to report child abuse and child neglect at
    1-800-552-7096. Its better to be safe and call than be sorry and not call. I also made a comment earlier last week about the Police Dept not issuing an amber alert, I now feel like they were not given all the information they needed early enough to do so.

  17. Mommy of 2

    February 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    @ Myra exactly. You sound like my mother, a real mother. How anyone can try to sugar coat this horrific act, on both parts, is beyond me. Have you seen what she said last night at her sons Vigil about how unexpected this was because you could see the love the monster had for his son? I wanted to throw up! How could you say that after he killed your baby??? Those words should have never came out of her mouth and I hope and pray investigators catch on to that little statement and see the “grieving mothers” photo shoot in front of the Vigil where her sons body was found. She also had the time, and strength to dye her hair blue, for chid abuse prevention..

  18. Mommy of 2

    February 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Internet over facebook I meant

  19. Concerned Citizen in PC

    February 5, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Well put Angry citizen….

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