Detective's interest in Lovelace case led to grand jury indictm - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Detective's interest in Lovelace case led to grand jury indictment

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By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Only one thing about Cory Lovelace's death in 2006 concerned Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley.

"At that time, I don't recall anything that really caused me great alarm," Copley said. "Was it concerning that they couldn't make a determination on cause of death? Yes, because that leaves the case open."

That open case led a member of the Quincy Police Department's detective unit to take another look at the case late last year.

Copley would not name the detective who took a closer look at the case, but that person's work ultimately led to a grand jury indicting Lovelace's husband, Curtis, on first-degree murder charges on Wednesday.

The bill of indictment alleges that Curtis Lovelace suffocated Cory Lovelace, which caused her death.

Adam Gibson, a Quincy detective, is listed as the only witness on the bill of indictment.

Curtis Lovelace, 45, is being held on $5 million bond in the case. He made his first appearance in Adams County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Copley said new information led to the grand jury indictment.

"There was one detective who was the driving force on that and got some information and learned some things," he said. "That is what started it."

Cory Lovelace, 38, was found dead inside the couple's home at 1869 Kentucky on Valentine's Day morning in 2006. A month after she died, a coroner's jury ruled the cause of death undetermined. An autopsy reached the same conclusion.

Copley said autopsy results were reviewed by other pathologists, who he said determined Cory Lovelace's death was a homicide. She was cremated.

Copley said Cory Lovelace's death was investigated at the time by the department.

"We really ran into a situation where we had no more leads to follow and no more direction to go," Copley said.

Copley said he had not heard from Cory Lovelace's family over the years.

"I had not had any contact, and to my knowledge, there hadn't been any push from the family, and I had not heard from them," he said. "Unlike some cases in the past, I was never contacted or recall hearing about any real push back from the family after the investigation came to an end at that time."

Because of what he knew about the new facts in the case, Copley wasn't surprised the grand jury returned an indictment against Curtis Lovelace. He also was not surprised by seeing someone like Lovelace, a lawyer who formerly served as an assistant state's attorney and was a longtime member of the Quincy School Board, involved in a case like this.

"It's a unique circumstance, especially in our area," Copley said. "I'm never surprised by what anyone is accused of doing over the years. I can't say that it's a terrible shock, because you don't know what other people have done or will do."

Copley said his department is still investigating the case, even though the grand jury has indicted Lovelace.

"We are finishing up some interviews," Copley said. "There's probably not a lot more work to be done, but one interview could lead you to a lot more work. It's still considered an active investigation."

Lovelace once worked in the Adams County State's Attorney's Office and was on staff at the time of Cory Lovelace's death, so the office has had to remove itself from the case. Ed Parkinson, the former state's attorney in Morgan County, was assigned to handle the case. Parkinson said he has handled more than 150 murder trials during his career.

He doesn't believe the age of the case will hurt in its prosecution.

"It always has an effect on a trial because this is a few years later, but this was an open case," Parkinson said Thursday. "It's fully investigated now, and the investigation is still ongoing. I don't anticipate anything too ‘un-ordinary' about (the prosecution)."

Parkinson said he hadn't seen a case like this before.

-- dobrien@whig.com/221-3370

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