Dad Allegedly Kills 4-Month-Old Baby and Mom; Family Claims He Didn’t Want to Pay Child Support

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 17, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

A Tennessee man is accused of stabbing a woman and his infant son to death amid a custody battle, reports said.

Enoch Zarceno-Turner, 25, was arrested for the slayings of Heather Cook, 32, and 4-month-old Bentley Cook in their Shelby County home, WMC5 reported.

He is accused of stabbing the pair before setting fire to the home in an alleged attempt to cover up the murders, reported the station, citing an affidavit.

The report that Zarceno-Turner was once in a relationship with Cook and is the father of Bentley. However, he and the mother were arguing over the custody of the child.

The Shelby County Fire Department was called to around the 6900 block of Bennington Circle on the morning of Sept. 13 after reports of a house fire, Fox13 reported.

Epoch Times Photo
A stock photo of an ambulance (Joerg Huettenhoelscher/Shutterstock)

The sister of Cook was the person who discovered the bodies, according to the Fox affiliate report.

On Aug. 31, about two weeks ago, a Facebook account that appeared to belong to Heather Cook made a complaint on a single mothers’ page.

The post said, “When I got pregnant, it was by someone I had just began seeing. When I told him I was pregnant, he asked me to ‘remedy the situation.’ My son was born 4 ½ months ago and the father has never even attempted to see him,” reported the station. The family of the woman later confirmed the post’s authenticity.

Of the father, she added in the post, “He can’t believe that I’m asking for any support for a baby he helped to create.”

Her family also said that she had filed court documents for child support and a DNA test.

According to the WMC5 report, Zarceno-Turner told police that he was in the vicinity of the crime scene on Friday. When he last went into the home, he saw that Bentley and Cook were dead. However, an affidavit said he changed his story several times.

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
Police tape is shown in Toronto, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
Police tape is shown in a stock photo (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.