As of Friday, May 10, 2013
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
Casey Collins, left, and Sarah Cook
Edward Smith was sitting in his truck when his grandson wrapped a belt around his neck. That grandson's girlfriend then stabbed him twice in the chest.
Casey Ryan Collins (the 30-year-old grandson) and Sarah Elizabeth Cook (the 23-year-old girlfriend) then took the 78-year-old Lilburn man's wallet and drove the truck around metro Atlanta for several hours. Smith's body still inside, they abandoned the vehicle in southern Cobb County, not terribly far from their Mableton home, where the original assault occurred.
So goes Cook's description of the string of events that began sometime around 9 a.m. on May 2 -- three days before Smith was reported missing by his family and five days prior to Cook and Collins being arrested and charged with murder.
Criminal warrants obtained Thursday by the Daily Post said Cook offered a detailed "voluntary admission" of the couple's alleged crimes.
After authorities learned that the pair had been the last people in contact with Smith on May 2, "further investigation discovered that Collins and Cook were in possession of Smith's vehicle" at about 1 p.m. that day, about four hours after they reported having their final contact with him. Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce was coy earlier this week when asked how exactly detectives linked the couple to the murder.
"The good use of technology and good investigative work," he said.
Smith's truck and body were not found until Tuesday, the elderly man's body indicating "that he did not die of natural causes," documents said.
Police have said they are "pretty certain" they know the motive behind Collins and Cook's alleged actions, but are choosing not to disclose that information. The warrants obtained Thursday offered no explanation.
It was unclear why Smith had visited his grandson's home that morning.