Arrest made in '06 slaying of 81-year-old Ind. man

ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. - A southern Indiana man was being held without bail Friday after he was arrested in connection with the 2006 slaying of an 81-year-old World War II veteran, and police said another man also might have been involved.

Andrew Bryan Cooper, 33, was arrested Thursday on preliminary counts of murder and other charges. He was being held Friday in the Monroe County Jail in Bloomington. A judge appointed a public defender for Cooper at a hearing Friday. The county public defender's office did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Police said they also suspect Bradd Stroup, 41, who is serving a sentence on child molesting charges at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

Ellettsville resident James Cowden was found dead inside his truck south of Bloomington in October 2006. The truck's engine was running and the windshield wipers were on. Police said he had been strangled and beaten.

Investigators say Cowden was attacked in his home at 121 Dewey Drive in Ellettsville during a burglary.

Investigators say DNA evidence links both men to the crime.

Cowden is believed to have been home when burglars entered his home. Police found signs of a violent struggle, including furniture and other items knocked over. Sheriff's Detective Brad Swain said Cowden appeared to have been beaten with a flashlight and was then removed and dumped in his truck.

"Why would somebody kill an 81-year-old man who was living by himself and trying to make things OK for himself, trying to take care of himself? In a small town like Ellettsville, nobody really understood why that happened," Cowden's daughter Gloria Stewart, who lives in Florida, told The Herald-Times .

Print this article Back to Top