Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Cold Case Update: Nina Ingram Murder Case Heads to Trial

Rico Tavarous Cohn and Nina Ingram (inset)

Rico Tavarous Cohn and Nina Ingram (inset)

Recent developments in the 2006 slaying of University of Arkansas student Nina Ingram, 21, in Fayetteville, Ark., have prompted authorities not only to make an arrest, but also to proceed to trial. Nina Ingram was found strangled to death in her Law Quad apartment on April 22, 2006. The coroner ruled her death a homicide. Police interviewed a number of suspects, but came up empty handed. The case went cold, and stayed cold despite Nina’s mother’s efforts to keep her daughter’s unsolved case in the public eye.

In April 2012, according to Fayetteville Police Chief Greg Tabor, one detective was specifically assigned to Nina’s case to conduct a full review, which police hoped would result in new leads, or new information in the case. Also in April police resubmitted some evidence for re-testing. Fayetteville Police Sgt. Creston Mackey said at the time, “We’re resubmitting because of advancement in the DNA technology so that we can make sure we are covering everything.” Police also reached out to the media and the public. Their renewed efforts were a success when new information did emerge that led police to suspect Rico Tavarous Cohn, 26, of Springdale, Ark. Cohn was arrested on June 6 on charges of capital murder.

Even though Cohn has a history of drug arrests, the murder arrest came as a shock to his friends. His girlfriend, Candace Appleby, told reporters that Cohn is a “quiet person, he get along with everybody he’s just a kindhearted person.” James Winfrey has known Cohn since 2003, and says he hasn’t noticed any changes in his friend over the years, “He ain’t ever acted no different, he didn’t ever lose any sleep. If you do something like that and hold it for 6 years, you can’t have no conscience and he ain’t ever acted no different since 2003 when i met him in job core. … He told me he never knew the girl, so something ain’t right. Something ain’t adding up. What evidence you got?”

The nature of the new information had not been released, and prosecutor John Threet received approval to seal the case records. Cohn pleaded not guilty before a judge on June 20, and is expected to stand trial for the murder of Nina Ingram beginning August 20. No other arrests were made.

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