A man told police that he had climbed through a window and “found” a young mother and her 4-month-old baby stabbed to death. However, the truth quickly revealed that he had murdered the pair after a simple argument turned deadly.
When 32-year-old Tennessee resident Heather Cook unexpectedly became pregnant, she made the most courageous decision of her life. The single woman chose to give her baby the gift of life. Of course, she knew that the difficult decision wouldn’t come without its hardships. However, she never anticipated it would bring about her untimely death.
After informing her partner that she was pregnant, Cook received a disturbing response. Without a second thought, 25-year-old Enoch Zarceno demanded that she “remedy the situation” by aborting her precious, unborn baby. As it turns out, Zarceno was had cheated on his girlfriend of 6 years with Cook and selfishly wanted to cover his tracks. Fortunately, Cook wasn’t about to treat her child as a disposable commodity for his convenience.
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Cook notified Zarceno that he was the father of little Bentley. Understanding that she couldn’t force Bentley’s father to be a dad, she only asked that he fulfill his responsibility to provide for their child. It was this request that sealed the mother and child’s fate.
According to WREG, after receiving a court order for DNA testing to go ahead with a child support hearing, Zarceno forced his way into Cook’s Memphis home and stabbed both the mother and 4-month-old infant to death. He then set the residence ablaze in an attempt to destroy the evidence before fleeing the scene.
Zarceno initially told police that he had climbed through a back window and found Cook and Bentley dead. Despite changing his story multiple times, authorities managed to procure enough evidence to charge Zarceno with two counts of first-degree murder and a single count of aggravated arson for the deaths of Cook and Bentley. Police investigators soon discovered that the murder stemmed from an argument Cook and Zarceno were having concerning child support.
The mother and child were found dead with multiple stab wounds when emergency responders arrived. The residence had been partially burned but not destroyed, leaving investigators with substantial evidence to name Zarceno as the culprit.
From beyond the grave, Cook led investigators to Zarceno’s motive for murder, which included a private post to a Facebook group for single mothers. In the post, Cook explained that Zarceno was angry that she refused to abort Bentley and saw her refusal as an excuse to not pay child support.
“So, when I got pregnant it was by someone I had just began seeing,” Cook wrote on Facebook. “When I told him I was pregnant he asked me to ‘remedy the situation’ (his words) and quit talking to me when I wouldn’t. Fast forward a few months and I find out he’s had a [girlfriend] for 6 years and I was the other woman all along. Anyway, my son was born 4 1/2 months ago and the father has never even attmepted to see him. Well I finally filed for child support this month and since he’s not on the birth certificate it’s a mandatory DNA test. He got served his papers yesterday for the testing and decided to contact me.”
Cook explained that Zarceno placed the blame on her for his current financial situation and the fact that the woman to whom he had been unfaithful had left him. Family members later corroborated the story, admitting that Zarceno was upset about paying for a child he didn’t want.
“He can’t believe that I’m asking for any support for a baby that he helped to create,” Cook’s post continues. “He thinks since he offered to pay for an abortion that he shouldn’t have to pay me anything now. Then, he proceeds to tell me how he’s struggling financially and how his [girlfriend] left him and it’s all my fault. Obviously I told him this was all of his own doing and neither of us would be in this situation if he wouldn’t have lied repeatedly.”
Zarceno faces decades in prison for his crimes. Of course, his worst fear shouldn’t be the amount of prison time he faces but other inmates catching wind of the nature of his crimes. It’s no secret that in the prison hierarchy, child abusers and murderers are at the bottom.
Cook gave baby Bentley 4 short but loving, happy months on this earth. Tragically, their lives were cut short by the evil, selfish actions of a cowardly deadbeat father who saw their existence as nothing more than an inconvenience.