Son-in-law arrested in Florida after McMinnville couple found dead

Bryan Cooke

MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The son-in-law of a couple found murdered inside their McMinnville home was arrested early Tuesday morning in northeast Florida on criminal homicide charges.

Bryan Cooke was arrested by sheriff’s deputies around 3 a.m. at a hotel in Jacksonville just one day after being added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Most Wanted” list.

Cooke was wanted in the death of Gary and Nancy “Gail” Dodson, who were found dead inside their McMinnville home Monday morning by a relative.

McMinnville couple murdered
Gary and Gail Dodson

Authorities said the couple did not show up for work at their restaurant, Gary and Gail’s Pit Stop, and their employees became concerned. Details on their cause of death were not immediately known.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office was searching for Cooke to question him Monday morning. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation later added him to their “Most Wanted” list on two counts of criminal homicide.

He’s accused of killing the couple before stealing their Jeep and fleeing to Florida where he was found Tuesday.

Cooke’s arrest came after he reportedly called 911 from inside a hotel room. The hotel’s receptionist then tried to get into his room but was unable to because furniture was blocking the door, leading her to call police.

When police arrived, they were able to get inside his room where they found Cooke lying naked on a bed with a bundle of cash next him. Authorities said he appeared to be in medical distress because he was breathing but unresponsive.

Cooke was transported to a local hospital for evaluation before being booked into the Jacksonville jail on $2 million bond.

Florida police discovered he was wanted out of Tennessee when they located his photo ID inside the hotel room and saw the warrants for his arrest.

He is being held as a fugitive of justice while he awaits extradition to Tennessee.

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