On July 1, 2021, Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services attended a community event at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area when a firefighter observed something "floating in the water." The firefighter then reportedly pulled out the body of 19-month-old Faheem Cooper out of the river.
After news stations reported the story, the District Attorney’s Office said Cooper, the victim’s mother, contacted the Cobb County Police Department to ask about identifying the toddler’s body.
Cooper reportedly told detectives a man took her son from a motel because she "owed him money." Cooper didn’t report it "because she was scared," and instead, she reportedly went to a different motel.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, when detectives reviewed surveillance footage from the two motels, they did not find any evidence of Faheem’s alleged abduction.
The victim’s grandmother told detectives she last saw Faheem on June 26, 2021, and she provided details to officials about Cooper’s vehicle. Investigators were reportedly able to track Cooper’s car information and confirm she was at the Chattahoochee River on June 26, 2021, from around 5:57 pm to shortly after 8 p.m. According to the District Attorney’s Office, Cooper killed her son sometime within that time frame and dumped his body in the river.
Nearly a week later, on July 1, 2021, officials arrested Cooper on suspicion of her son’s murder. According to the District Attorney’s Office, detectives confiscated her cellphone and saw that she searched for foster care, as well as the Chattahoochee River, the month prior.
Cooper’s older child also spoke with detectives and reportedly said that her mother "told her that their time with Faheem was done."
Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green said in a statement during the plea hearing, "It is unfathomable that a human being could do this to a baby. It is unspeakable that a mother would do this to her own flesh and blood."