Thursday, August 18, 2022

Today in True Crime: August 18, 2022

Today's true crime anniversaries involve one resolved murder case, and an unsolved disappearance. 

Today marks 10 years since a pregnant Alisha Bromfield was murdered at the age of 21. Brian Cooper, who was 36 at the time the crime was committed, is serving two life sentences for the murder of both Alisha and her unborn child. Brian was Alisha's boss at Home Depot, where they both worked in Plainville, Illinois. Brian immediately took a liking to Alisha; they struck up a quick friendship, but Brian reportedly wanted more. He asked Alisha to accompany him as his date to his sister's wedding in Door County, Wisconsin, and Alisha agreed.

According to her friends, Alisha did not really want to attend this wedding with Brian, but she was afraid of losing her job if she did not agree. Since she was pregnant and planned to raise the child on her own, she wanted to make sure she had income. However, on their drive to the wedding, Alisha and Brian got into a fight and Alisha decided to end their friendship. She agreed to put on a happy face for the wedding but was not interested in continuing their relationship once they returned home. 

Later that evening, Brian attacked Alisha in their hotel room. A struggle ensued, and Brian strangled Alisha—killing both her and her unborn baby. He then raped her postmortem body. Hours later, Brian stumbled into a gas station and used a phone to call 911 and turn himself in. Once in custody, authorities learned that Brian had been spying on Alisha for months. He had installed cameras in one of his bathrooms that Alisha used while dog sitting for him. He also installed a camera in their hotel room bathroom. 

It took years, but Brian was eventually convicted for the murders of both Alisha and her unborn child. He remains incarcerated today. [full case write-up]

My thoughts on this case....

An awful, awful case all around. Brian Cooper clearly had a sick obsession with Alisha...and it resulted in him committing several violent crimes against her. This case also provides yet another example of a man in a position of power taking advantage of a young woman. Alisha was clearly creeped out by him, but she was afraid she would lose her source of income if she did not do what he wanted. As soon as Alisha put her foot down and stood up for herself, Brian retaliated by attacking and murdering her. 

This man is exactly where he should be. Behind bars and far, far away from other young women in society. It's very likely that Alisha was not the first woman he was inappropriately obsessed with, and I doubt she would have been the last too. 

Today's other true crime anniversary:

Today also marks 10 years since Heather Cameron vanished near Redding, California. The then-28-year-old was last known to be in the company of her ex-boyfriend, Daniel Lusby. On the day of Heather's disappearance, she and Lusby went to Keswick Dam - located an approximate 20-minute drive from her family's home in Redding. Around 2:50 PM, Heather called 911 three times from Daniel’s phone from the Keswick Dam area. She told police that she had been drugged with heroin and needed assistance. An extensive search was launched in that area, but no signs of Heather or any sort of suspicious activity were found.

When investigators asked Lusby why Heather had called 911 from his phone, he told them that she took his phone from him, walked off, and never returned. That phone has never been recovered. Lusby has been extensively investigated but he still has not been charged with anything related to Heather's disappearance. Their relationship was reportedly abusive, and he remains the only person-of-interest in the case to date.

My thoughts...

This seems to be another unfortunate case in which investigators know who is responsible, but simply do not have enough evidence to arrest said person. Lusby is innocent until proven guilty...but it seems likely that he was involved. Not only was Lusby (allegedly) abusive towards Heather, but he was also the last person to have seen her before she vanished....and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are incredibly suspicious. 

Heather's case is also another tragic example of a Native American woman going missing...and her case remaining unsolved. There are NUMEROUS cases of missing and murdered Native American women that do not get the same type of attention that other cases receive. I hope that her family will someday learn what happened to her...and that the person(s) responsible for her disappearance will be convicted. 

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