An ex-boyfriend is under arrest and facing rape and murder charges in the April 2023 death of an Oklahoma high school senior who was a star student, a standout basketball player, and a beloved sister, daughter and friend.
Chace Cook, a 19-year-old living in Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the April 22 death of 18-year-old Madeline “Maddie” Bills, court records in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, show. The rape case was filed first on May 1 and an arrest warrant was issued the same day, along with an initial $1,000,000 bond.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office records included a booking photo for Cook. Records indicated that the defendant was jailed there on May 19 and remains held without bond on the murder charge.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, Bills had told friends that because “she was so scared of [Cook]” and feared “he would come to harm her,” she had “planned to sleep inside the main residence” at her Moore home rather than in the bedroom in the converted pool house where the family found her dead.
The affidavit said that Cook was read his Miranda rights and voluntarily offered an alibi about being in Galveston, Texas, from April 16 to April 23 for training to become a Navy SEAL “in the ocean.” Authorities said that the purported alibi quickly unraveled, and they indicated it didn’t take much research to poke holes in the story.
“He further advised he traveled to Galveston this was an approximately 2 1/2 to 3-hour drive from the Oklahoma City area to Galveston, TX,” the affidavit said. “It should be noted that the drive from Oklahoma City to Galveston is over 7 hours, according to Google Maps.”
Cops said the interview ended when the suspect asked for a lawyer. That allegedly happened after investigators told Cook that they had proof he was in the area when and where the crimes occurred.
A neighbor’s surveillance video allegedly showed a black Ford Fusion in the neighborhood and a suspect climbing the fence into the victim’s backyard. Investigators allegedly have evidence, too, that will prove Cook’s cellphone was “in the area of the victim’s residence” when the murder took place.
The Moore Police Department said that the Ford Fusion in question is the same vehicle that was stopped in February because the driver, Cook, wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Authorities believe that Cook is, in fact, the individual who climbed the fence — first at 4:38 a.m. and then again at 6:42 a.m. on April 22.
Investigators also found a video on the defendant’s cellphone that allegedly shows Cook raping Bills, who was described as appearing “unconscious” in the video, the Oklahoman reported, citing another affidavit.
Prosecutors in Cleveland County charged Cook on Monday, the filing shows.
“Cook’s DNA matched the DNA obtained from swabs taken during the initial on-scene investigation and during the autopsy of the victim,” the affidavit said.
An obituary for Madeline Bills said that the member of the Osage Tribe “made an incredible impact on many lives” and “strove to see the good in people.”
A high school senior with a 4.0 GPA, Bills had “recently signed a letter of intent to play women’s basketball at Northeastern A&M in Miami, OK in the fall under Coach Jim Rowland.”
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform u about the passing of our Future Lady Norse Player, @madeline_bills. We are deeply saddened by her loss! Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones during this difficult time.🕊️#OnceALadyNorseAlwaysALadyNorse #Forever11,” the college posted, along with a photo of Bills donning the Lady Norse uniform she never got to wear in-game.
When she wasn’t working tirelessly on her basketball game and her academics, Bills “loved spending time with family and friends,” with her pets — a cat and two dogs — or with a book in hand. The obituary said Bills is survived by her two older brothers, her mom and dad, and “numerous” extended family and friends.
Bills’ mother Stephanie said in a statement that the family is “heartbroken at the loss of our beautiful daughter,” KFOR reported.
“No family should have to endure such a terrible tragedy,” the grieving mother said. “We are grateful for the outpouring of love and compassion our family has received from so many in our community. Our family believes this is a direct reflection of the love, light, and positive energy that Madeline poured into others throughout her life. We want Madeline’s life to be forever defined by how she lived, how she loved, and the countless ways she uplifted everyone. We want her to be remembered for all she gave her friends and family. She was a beautiful soul, a bold competitor on the basketball court, and a beloved child of God.”
Court records did not immediately show an attorney of record for Cook.
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