Cook Investigation Now Considered 'Criminal,' Sheriff SaysPosted: Updated:
The death of Jared Cook is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
Jefferson County Sheriff Colleen O'Neill made that announcement at a news conference Tuesday morning.
The 28 year old Antwerp man died in a Syracuse hospital, where he was airlifted after he was unconscious found with severe injuries outside his home at 38875 County Route 24. See his obituary here
She said since Cook died, detectives have "focused on the circumstances that led to his death" and lacking "another clear possibility" are now considering the case a criminal investigation.
She said investigators have not been able to determine what caused his head injury or the cut to his arm.
O'Neill said investigators are following "dozens and dozens of leads," but she declined to say where those leads might take them.
"The case has taken a direction," she said, "but it would be premature to discuss exactly what that is."
An autopsy was performed Monday and the sheriff said investigators are awaiting the results. O'Neill said she didn't know how long that would take.
She says no one has been taken into custody.
"We do believe this is an isolated incident and the general public should not be concerned about their safety," the sheriff said.
She says she doesn't foresee any updates in the near future and that it will take time to get the autopsy results and for detectives to "follow up on every lead that has been generated.
Nicole Lacey, who also lived in the home, told 911 dispatchers she found Cook unconscious in their driveway.
Later in the day Tuesday, #JusticeforJared began popping up on Facebook. It's a campaign started by Cook's family and friends in response to Jared's death.
Renee Booth, a friend of the Cook family, says the hashtag means, "We the friends and family won't stop until charges are brought and justice is sought." Cook's cousin, Melissa Cook, told 7 News "we would like the person responsible found and we are not giving up."
Cook's obituary says he was survived by his parents, three children and three sisters as well as numerous family members.