Cohn was arrested in 2012, accused of strangling the young woman to death in her Fayetteville, Arkansas apartment.
Charges were dropped after a key witness died of natural causes.
Do white lives matter? Not to some.
The crime occurred in 2006.
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Charges were dropped on Wednesday morning (July 1) against a man accused of strangling a 21-year-old Fayetteville woman, officials say.
Rico T. Cohn was arrested in 2012 after authorities said he strangled Nina Ingram to death in her Fayetteville apartment. At his arraignment in June 2012, he pleaded not guilty to a capital murder charge.
He has since been released from the Washington County Detention Center, and charges against him have been dropped, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Nina Ingram’s mother, Judy Ingram, spoke to 5NEWS after she found out Cohn had been released.
“You know, my heart just sunk to the floor because once again, how do I keep going?” she said. “How do I keep doing this? When is Nina going to get justice?”
A key witness in the case died of natural causes, and without that witness, the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office said it didn’t have enough evidence to continue to trial.
“Her testimony was crucial to the case,” said Washington County Prosecutor Matt Durrett.
Durrett said the witness’ death was not suspicious.
Ingram said she has no doubt Cohn killed her daughter and believes Nina’s case got tangled up in the justice system.
“I don’t want your daughter or son or mother or sister killed by this man, because I don’t want them to have to go through what I went through,” Ingram said.
Ingram, a business student at NorthWest Arkansas Community College, was found strangled April 22, 2006, in her apartment at what then was known as the Law Quad Apartments at 701 W. Sycamore St. The complex is now called Club At The Creek.
One of her brothers and his friend found her body after they crawled through an unlocked window, police said. They went to the apartment to check on Ingram after the family couldn’t reach her by phone.
Despite continued investigating by police, Ingram’s killing had gone unsolved for a number of years. In April 2012, a new detective was assigned to work solely on solving the case, after which police arrested Cohn in connection with Ingram’s death, court records show.
Cohn told police he was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex at the time of Ingram’s death, although they said he might have been lying to create an alibi for being at the location, according to court documents. Cohn was later arrested.
According to Durrett, the prosecutor’s office will have a year to re-file the charges against Cohn if they get new evidence that could lead to a conviction.
“I will never give up hoping and believing that somebody will turn up and admit to this or knows something that Rico [Cohn] told them that happened,” Ingram said. “I will never give up.”
Ingram said she is working on forgiving Cohn.
“As a human being, as a mother, it is hard to forgive someone like this,” she said. “It is most difficult and I’m working on that, but it’s a process with God’s help, because it takes supernatural strength to be able to forgive someone that took your daughter’s life.”
Ingram said she has also started the Nina Ingram Foundation in her daughter’s honor and the organization should be up and running in the next few weeks.
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