Man charged with murder after 2 bodies found in Rutherford County

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A Rutherfordton man is facing multiple charges, including murder, after two bodies were found in Rutherford County, the sheriff’s office said on Tuesday.

Deputies with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office arrested 34-year-old Matthew Thomas Cooley, of Rutherfordton, on Tuesday, December 28. Cooley was charged with murder and four counts of concealing and failing to report a death.

The arrest came after the bodies of Jason VanDyke and Tracy McKinney were found in Rutherford County on Monday, December 27.

Arrest warrants state that deputies had probable cause to believe that Cooley was responsible for the murder of VanDyke and the dismemberment and destruction of his remains. They believe the murder happened between December 25 and December 27.

Cooley has not been charged with murder in relation to the death of McKinney, but arrest warrants stated they have probable cause to believe he is responsible for the dismemberment or destruction of the body. The sheriff’s office believes McKinney died between December 15 and December 27.

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