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“It was devastating to me. It just really hurt,” that’s what Kathy Haggard felt when she learned her ex-husband of 36 years allegedly died at the hands of his own half-brother.

“I never suspected Tim would kill his older brother. That’s terrible, you know,” said Hazel Pellett, a next door neighbor of 36 years.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department arrested Tim Coop, suspected of killing and dismembering Thomas Cope.

“He was a little bit off in the head, you know,” Pellett said.

Investigators say inconsistencies in Coop’s information about his brother’s whereabouts made them believe Cope was the victim of foul play.

A sister living out of state initially asked officers to check on the victim last Wednesday, because she hadn’t heard from him lately, which she says was out of character for him.

Last Friday, sheriff’s deputies got a warrant to search Coop’s home, which he shared with their 92-year-old mother Juanita.

Pellett remembered her fondly.

“She’s good Christian lady. I loved her, always there when I needed her,” she said.

Time Cope (Photo provided by family)
Time Cope (Photo provided by family)

During that search Friday, deputies discovered a dismembered body, believed to be Cope’s.

“I seen them taking out clothes from the garbage can,” Pellett said.

Further remains were reportedly found in a chicken coop in the back of the property.

Haggard remembers her ex-husband as a talented musician who used his voice to honor God in church.

He was also a Vietnam vet before retiring from the U.S. Postal Service.

“He was loved by a lot of people. He had a good personality. He was a jokester,” Haggard said.

She says a good attitude overall helped him get through life’s ups and downs.

“He was joyful and talking about the Lord and happy. So, that gives me peace in my heart,” she added.