Trigger: Child death.
When it comes to the romantic relationship between parents, sometimes things don't work out. Whether it's because there's too much fighting or because one parent flat out refuses to pull their respective weight, these and many more factors can cause the romance to deteriorate. It's okay if the relationship fails; after all, what matters most is the welfare of your child. But if one parent is extremely angry about their situation- or just about the fact that they have a child to care for- something awful usually happens.
This, unfortunately, happened to 32-year-old Heather Cook and her four-month-old son, Bentley, when they were stabbed to death by the baby's father. The two were found by Cook's sister inside the mom's house, which was full of smoke. According to a police affidavit that was recently released, the house was "partially burned" in an "intentionally set" fire that was most likely done in a feeble attempt to destroy evidence. The murders and arson occurred in Southeast Shelby County, Tennessee on Friday, September 13th.
The baby's father, 25-year-old Enoch Zarceno-Turner, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated arson, aggravated child abuse and neglect, and tampering with/fabricating evidence. Zarceno-Turner has no criminal record, save for some traffic misdemeanors. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18th to possibly set a bond, as one has yet to be set. It's unknown if he's retained any legal counsel at this point.
It's believed that the motive for the two murders was that Zarceno-Turner simply didn't want to be a dad. He and Cook had not been on good terms ever since she revealed that she was pregnant if a Facebook post she wrote before her death is anything to go by. Upon learning the news, Zarceno-Turner reportedly told her "remedy the situation", and then refused to communicate with Cook. He began seeing another woman and later blamed Cook for ruining her life and called her a "piece of s--t".
After baby Bentley was born, Cook explained in her Facebook post that Zarceno-Turner never tried to see their son or get involved in his life. She had recently filed for child support, which prompted him to be served with a mandatory DNA test to confirm that he's Bentley's biological father. Zarceno-Turner allegedly told Cook that he couldn't afford to pay child support despite Cook's claims that he was "blowing his money on going out drinking and buying parts for his several cars". Two weeks after she uploaded his Facebook post to a single mom's support group, Cook and her son were dead.
Upon being arrested the day after the murders, Zarceno-Turner admitted to police that he had dropped by Cook's house at around 2:30AM on Friday, September 13th. He claimed to have entered by crawling through the back window, which is when he discovered Cook and her son dead. He then fleed, but never bother to call 911 for his son and the mother of his child. Police also noted that Zarceno-Turner "changed his story several times" when talking to him.
As of now, the investigation is still being conducted by the police. With the hearing taking place soon, it's anyone's guess to see what will happen next. In the meantime, our thoughts are with Cook, her son Bentley, and their surviving family.