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Courtesy KXAS-TV/File

Texas man arrested in killing of LDS woman

By Megan Marsden Christensen  |  Posted Oct 26th, 2015 @ 3:32pm


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DALLAS — U.S. marshals arrested a man Saturday accused of murdering an 18-year-old girl who was on her way to an LDS Church class Oct. 11, officials reported.

Antonio Lamar Cochran, 34, is accused of kidnapping Zoe Hastings when she left home for a class at her local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward building. Her body was found in her family's minivan in a creek the next morning, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Cochran had recently relocated to the Dallas area from Texarkana, Texas, and was arrested in a Northeast Dallas apartment. He is in the Dallas County Jail on suspicion of capital murder with a bail of $2.5 million.

Hastings stopped at a Walgreens to drop off a Redbox movie, and witnesses said a man spoke to a woman matching Hastings' description before the two drove off in a minivan.

According to the probable cause affidavit, a witness said the man forced Hastings into the passenger's seat against her will and drove away in the minivan.

287054922 Probable Cause Affidavit

According to KXAS-TV, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office found that Hasting's died of homicidal violence, but a motive has not been released.

"He's obviously a sexual predator that's been taken off the streets, hopefully not to do this ever again," Dallas police spokesman Maj. Max Geron said, according to WFAA 8.

Geron said authorities don't think the two knew each other, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas Morning News reported that public records show Cochran has been convicted of theft, burglary of a building and trespassing, all felonies.

WFAA 8 reports that in Texarkana and Bowie County, Cochran has a criminal record history of theft and drug possession.

"The family of Zoe Hastings is extremely grateful to the Dallas Police Department for their swift action in making this arrest," family spokeswoman Shonn Brown said, according to WFAA 8. "Zoe's family would like to also thank those in the community. Because of the way that you came together, the police were able to act quickly and swiftly in arresting this suspect."

According to WFAA 8, Hastings' parents are relieved Cochran has been arrested.

"It's terrifying to think that somebody else might have to go through the same thing that our daughter went through," Jim Hastings said in his first interview since Cochran's arrest. "As long as that person was out there, that was a possibility. When we found out that he was caught, I mean there's a sense of relief obviously, at the same time, that's not what we were most concerned about."

Jim Hastings said their focus is on their other children and that they will be able to go back to school and handle the loss of their sister.

According to TXK today, Cochran was found not guilty of sexual assault earlier this year after a probable cause statement said he allegedly threatened his girlfriend's daughter to make her engage in nonconsentual sexual acts.

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