Can new DNA technology help solve the 2015 murder of a Jacksonville grandmother?

Can new DNA technology help solve the 2015 murder of a Jacksonville grandmother?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Years after a grandmother was found beaten to death in her Jacksonville home detectives are hoping for new leads.

The woman’s daughter wants answers, too.

“She was a great mother, she was a phenomenal grandmother, she was my best friend,” said daughter Kara Trimmer.

Thursday will mark six years since Bradla Cook, 61, was murdered and her car was found torched nearby.

Trimmer said what’s concerning about the case is that there was no sign of forced entry at her mom’s home, meaning whoever did this was somebody she trusted.

A cold case detective said they hope advancements in DNA technology will help them find her killer.

A car on fire behind a Winn-Dixie on Blanding Blvd led investigators to Cook’s home about a mile away. Inside, they found Cook’s body.

“Mrs. Cook was 61 years old. She’s your neighbor, she’s your mom, she’s your grandmother. She wasn’t involved in any nefarious activities. She wasn’t doing anything wrong,” Det. Ray Reeves said.


Reeves said the cause of death was blunt force trauma but she’d been stabbed, too.

“This case in particular, we need the community’s help with,” Reeves said. “There were no signs of forced entry, so it was obviously someone who she had some kind of relationship with, that she knew, or she was trying to help.”

He said some electronics were missing, but money was left so they don’t think it was just a robbery.

“It was confusing. Like who would hate my mother so much to be as selfish and jealous to take her from so many people that loved her unconditionally?” Trimmer said.

Trimmer said her mom, known affectionately as “B,” was a loving grandmother who was active in the community.

She said the mourning process has been overshadowed by questions.

Investigators believe someone killed Cook, left her in her car, and dumped it, setting it on fire in an attempt to burn evidence. But Det. Reeves said they didn’t succeed and investigators have troves of evidence from both scenes.


“And through the years, there has been great advancements in technology,” Reeves said. “We have so many items of evidence collected from both scenes, DNA swabs and things like that that we have been able to re-submit over the last few months to our partners at the FDLE and they’re rechecking that evidence for us.”

He said detectives are already following up on the results.

In the meatime, Trimmer has a message for whoever did this.

“Just be an honest human and do the right thing,” Trimmer said.

She is hopeful that fresh eyes from the Cold Case unit will soon get justice for her mom.

Anyone who knows what happened to Cook, or saw anything that October night in 2015, is asked to call JSO.

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