BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A Raleigh County woman with no pending criminal charges is fighting back over reports she was involved in her husband’s death.
Natalie Cochran, a pharmacist from Daniels, first made headlines in August when she was named by federal officials in a civil lawsuit — accused of running a Ponzi scheme with her husband Michael Cochran.
While Cochran said she cannot comment on the ongoing federal investigation into the couple’s business, she did take questions through her attorney, Robert Dunlap, on reports of a suspicious death investigation by State Police.
“Whenever you have that kind of situation where a young person dies, you look for answers. You look for someone to blame,” said Dunlap. “And I’m afraid Natalie Cochran is the person who those with hurt feelings are directing their energy towards.”
So what did happen on that fateful day in February when her husband fell ill? According to Dunlap, the following:
“Her husband had vomited in the sink. He wasn’t feeling well and hit his head during a seizure. The first thing she did was call law enforcement and a first responder, two people who came at once. And it’s important to point out that he didn’t die right away. She made sure he received medical treatment. He went to Raleigh General. He went to CAMC. He died in hospice five days later.”
Cochran said an autopsy was never offered as an option by Hospice and her husband did not have a clean bill of health leading up to the day he died. In fact, she said he had recently been hospitalized on three separate instances for medical issues.
Dunlap raised questions Tuesday about the release of information of a criminal investigation prior to charges.
“One, people could monkey with the evidence if they knew what was being investigated and two, if you really thought Natalie Cochran had done something as horrible as was being alleged, why would you create a situation where there could be flight risk?
With no criminal charges pending, Dunlap has concerns his client is being tried not in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion.
“We should cling to the premise that all people are innocent until proven guilty. A person with no criminal history does not magically become a serial killer.”
WVVA News has reached out to State Police in Beckley several times for more on their investigation, but was still awaiting a response at the time of deadline on Tuesday.