Rhode Island woman’s body found in refrigerator; boyfriend charged

Nathan Cooper, center, cried as he faced a judge in Providence on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. He is accused of killing his girlfriend, Sherbert Maddox, and hiding her body in his refrigerator. AMANDA MILKOVITS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man faces a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend whose body was found wrapped in plastic, towels and blankets inside a refrigerator in the apartment they shared, police said Wednesday.

Police acting on a tip went to a Providence apartment at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday where they questioned a male occupant, police Maj. David Lapatin said at a news conference. They then obtained a search warrant and found the body of Sherbert Maddox, 40, in the refrigerator in the home, he said.

Maddox appeared to have been shot, and may have been dead since Sunday, he said. An autopsy is scheduled.


Maddox’s boyfriend, Nathan Cooper, 53, is charged with murder and firearms offenses, Lapatin said.

“Our investigation shows he did have some violent tendencies toward her in the past,” he said.

Cooper was held without bail at his arraignment Wednesday. He did not enter pleas. No defense attorney was listed in court records and he was referred to the public defender’s office.

Police also recovered two firearms at the scene, including a handgun they believe was used in the killing, as well as a rifle.


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