WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - There’s been an arrest following a two-year investigation into the death of Jared Cook.
Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies have charged 29 year old Nicole Lacey of Black River with first-degree manslaughter.
The 28 year old Cook died at a Syracuse hospital on June 3, 2018 from injuries he suffered a few days earlier.
Deputies said at the time that Lacey found him unconscious in his driveway on County Route 24 in Antwerp on May 30 suffering from severe head trauma and a cut on his arm. Lacey lived in the same home as Cook.
"It became apparent from the beginning that things did not appear to be accidental," said Detective Ben Timerman of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Court paperwork alleges Lacey knowingly and intentionally struck and drove over Cook with her vehicle, causing fatal head injuries.
According to the paperwork, Lacey's vehicle displayed evidence of a collision and Cook's DNA was found on the vehicle's undercarriage and right front tire.
As to why the investigation took 2 years, Timerman said, “We had suspicions early on and experience dictates that when you get into a case like this and it starts to get fairly in depth, we know that the initial sense of urgency to hurry up and get it done will slowly replace that with the need to actually slow down and take a closer look and make sure that we got everything right because the victim and the victim’s family, they deserve that.”
Cook was initially treated by Indian River Ambulance and flown by LifeNet to Upstate University Hospital for further treatment, although he was not expected to survive due to the extent of his injuries.
The sheriff’s office immediately launched an investigation because of the severity of his injuries and announced on June 5, 2018 that the investigation had become a criminal one.
Lacey was arraigned virtually Thursday morning and was released on her own recognizance.
She is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County Court on June 30.