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Infant body recovered as search team endures freezing temperatures

Cole-investigation-scene

By SARAH BRADBURY,
CALVIN PYNN and
MELINDA WILLIAMS

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.

77 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

    • cj

      February 6, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      According to reports the abuse occurred Sunday and she left the baby in his care Monday to spend the night with a friend…smh do not understand the timeline of events

  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

      Huh?

  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.