UPDATE: Elderly couple murdered well known by students and horse community

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News 12 @ 6 o'clock/ Thursday, December 10, 2015

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW)-- News 12 is learning more about the victims in a double murder that claimed the lives of an elderly couple. Louis "Baker" Cochran was a long time substitute teacher in Aiken County. Many of his former students are mourning his loss. His wife, Sandra Cochran, was very invovled in the horse community.

"He was just one of those guys that brought a smile to everybody's faces," said 20 year old Nicholas Cumming. The former Silver Bluff High School student loved two things in high school, playing basketball and seeing Mr. Cochran.

"When we had a sub he is one of those subs that you would say yes he is here," Cumming said. "People say it takes a smile to make a person's day. Well he was one of those people," he said.

For the last decade, Baker Cochran substituted with Aiken County Schools, spending most of his time at Silver Bluff and Midland Valley.

"It got me right in the heart. I tried to hold back emotions but he was a really great guy," he said, remembering when he learned of the slayings.

The news of someone gunning down Cochran and his wife has devastated other former students as well.

"They changed my world and gave me a place to stay when I needed help," a former student wrote to News 12.

"This man was a substitute for me when I was in high school! Was a kind hearted man and would never harm anyone," posted another on Facebook.

A former co-worker messaged Liz Owens, saying, "He was always kind, thoughtful, great sense of humor, and he was sharp. The kids liked him."

"Just one simple word, why?" asked Cumming.

There isn't an answer to that question, yet.

Aiken County Schools sent this to News 12:
"Mr. Cochran was a loyal substitute teacher for Aiken County Public Schools for the last ten years. We were shocked to learn of his tragic death. Many are grieving the loss of Mr. Cochran, such a wise and gentle man that we could always count on. Our greatest sympathies are extended to the Cochran family and our students, teachers and staff most impacted by this tragic event."


News 12 @ 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

JACKSON, S.C. (WRDW) -- 74-year-old Louis Cochran, known by Baker, and his wife 70-year-old Sandy, found dead in their Jackson home Tuesday. Law enforcement is searching for their stolen car, and the person who killed them.

Lynn Thompson feels shocked after hearing someone murdered her friends Baker and Sandy Cochran. "I was like oh my gosh. I mean it's just hard to imagine," Thompson said.

She is the president of the Living History Society. The couple were members, and did reenactments with the group for years. "They actually both wound up with 18th century clothes. They wound up doing interpretting and reenacting," she said.

They started with the society because of their Marsh Tacky horses, a rare breed with historic ties. "Educating people on the horses and the breed because so many people are just unaware of it because it was almost a lost breed," the Historic Society President said.

But they grew to be a big part of the group. "He would stop by the park and just check on us. And I would talk to Sandy because she would be coming up with a new outfit," she said.

Lynn says her friends were kind and caring. "I just can't imagine anyone harming them. I mean they were not into anything that anyone would have a grudge or anything against them," Thompson said..

Investigators say there is no sign someone forced their way into the home, no weapons were found, and their car was stolen. "I just can't picture someone going in off the road and doing something like that it just doesn't make any sense," she said.

A senseless crime, Thompson hopes someone might be able to shed some light on. "It's different people that have touched their lives. And I ask that anyone that may know anything, please come forward," she said.

Two lives taken, and many more affected by the crime. "I just hope they catch them, I hope they make some rhyme or reason out of it," Thompson said.


Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW)-- We are learning more about the couple found shot to death inside their Aiken County home. 74 year old Louis "Baker" Cochran and 70 year old Sandra Cochran were no strangers to the horse community, not just in Aiken County but also across the country.

"Yeah, I'm shocked. I'm sad. I'm shocked," Jim Rhodes with Aiken Equine Rescue said. Rhodes and his team are taking care of Cochran's five horses.

Rhodes knew the Cochrans from their involvement in the horse community. "That's very sad. At one time these people were extremely well known in the horse industry," he said.

Baker and Sandra Cochran were well known not only in Aiken County but also in the horse community around the country. The couple founded their own rescue group years to help rescue horses. Sandra is shown in a video from 2009 with a group named RedRover, saying, "I specifically told my husband this was my Christmas present to me. I wanted to come to be with the horses so I am here....it's just my nature to help."

The Cochrans worked with many horses. Two of the five horses in the field next to their home were rescues. The couple also owned two dogs and a cat.

"Big-hearted, kind people," Rhodes said.

"I hope they catch the person. You know we don't live in the same world we lived in 20 years ago, 30 years ago, things are different now," he said.

Aiken Equine Rescue is taking care of the Cochran's five horses until the next of kin is notified.

The rescue group told News 12 the horses were in bad condition but not starving.