TROUTMAN, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – An arrest has been made in a fatal house fire that was ruled suspicious this past July, according to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.
Corey Alexander Cook, 21, of Troutman, has been charged with three counts of murder and first-degree arson in connection to the deaths of his parents and brother, deputies said.
The deadly fire occurred on Tuesday, July 27, at a home located along Loram Drive near Troutman. Two bodies were initially found inside the house and a third body was found hours later in the rubble.
The three victims have been identified as Johnny Bryan Cook, 60, Angela Duncan Cook, 51, and John Lawrence Thomas Cook, 27, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, Cook had traveled to his grandmother’s house that day, driving his mother’s vehicle, and informed his grandmother, as well as deputies, that there had been a domestic dispute at his house on Loram Drive and “his mother had told him to leave the house.”
Cook claimed he also saw his father in the doorway with a gun in his hand when he pulled out to leave.
The three bodies discovered inside the burned home were taken to the North Carolina Baptist Hospital for autopsy. Due to the condition of the bodies, positive identification was not immediately possible for every victim. DNA evidence was taken and sent to the crime lab for comparison, the sheriff’s office said.
During the ongoing investigation, it was determined in late August that Cook had been using financial cards from one of his deceased family members and attempting to withdraw cash from the account, deputies said.
On Oct. 15, Cook was interviewed and confessed to using the cards and attempting to withdraw money. The sheriff’s office said it was during this interview where Cook also admitted to his involvement in the deaths of his parents and brother, as well as to starting the fire.
Cook was arrested and charged with 17 counts of felony identity theft. He was issued a $75,000 bond.
Based upon Cook’s statements, an additional search was conducted at Loran Drive on Oct. 16 where evidence consistent with Cook’s new statements were found at the scene. Based on new evidence gathered, the sheriff’s office served Cook warrants for murder and first-degree arson.
This investigation remains ongoing as additional information is still being gathered, the sheriff’s office said.