Kelly Cochran was already serving life in prison for the murder of her ex-lover when she was sentenced for allegedly killing her husband. But a new docuseries chronicling the investigation into the case suggests her crimes were far more grisly than anyone anticipated. And now, the lead investigator suspects she may be a serial killer behind several other murders in numerous states.
The horrific true story began with a missing persons case in 2014. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 51-year-old Chris Regan had disappeared.
The investigation took lead investigator and Iron River Police Chief Laura Frizzo to Cochran, who had been having an affair with Regan and was believed to be the last person to see him.
Michigan prosecutors maintained Cochran lured Regan to her home, where her husband Jason Cochran shot him and the two dismembered Regan before hiding his remains in the woods.
The 35-year-old Hobart, Indiana woman was ultimately convicted of murdering Regan, who she called "the only good thing" in her life, according to court documents. She was sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors argued the Cochrans had a pact formed on their wedding night that if either of them ever cheated on the other, they would kill whoever the extramarital lover was. Cochran told the court she thought that was only a joke—but according to prosecutors, it wasn’t.
Still, in a new docuseries by Investigation Discovery, "Dead North," neighbors reveal they believe they were served Regan's remains at a barbecue. Not long after, Cochran allegedly led Frizzo to a desolate area in the Upper Peninsula woods where Regan's skull was found.
The series features videos recorded by Frizzo throughout the investigation, along with interrogation room conversations and bodycam footage, according to producers.
"The search for Chris Regan – and specifically Laura Frizzo’s determination to solve this case – is what compelled us to join her on this journey for answers,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, said in a statement. “The story that unfolds through Chief Frizzo’s own video documentations is a rare opportunity for viewers to see a skilled investigator at work.”
Last month, Cochran pleaded guilty to new murder charges in the death of her husband Jason Cochran. Local reports described it as a “revenge killing” after Cochran said she was forced into participating in her boyfriend’s killing and Cochran reportedly told investigators she “evened the score."
Cochran pleaded guilty to strangling her husband in Hobart, Indiana, on Feb. 20, 2016. Under a plea agreement, the 35-year-old will receive a 65-year sentence.
According to Investigation Discovery, Cochran's brother said he believes his sister is a serial killer with as many as nine victims. And he's not alone.
Frizzo, the first female city police chief in the Upper Peninsula, was relieved of her duties by the Iron River City Manager just as she claimed Cochran admitted to "having other 'friends' buried in Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Minnesota," according to the network. The identities of any potential victims remain unclear and no bodies have been found.
“I’m so grateful that justice was served for Chris Regan, but I firmly believe that there are other victims out there,” Frizzo said in a statement. “With new leads regarding their whereabouts, I’m hoping this series will shed light on the case and allow me to finish the investigation I started.”
According to her attorneys, Frizzo said she was not allowed to return to work after a "short medical leave in September 2016." Though Frizzo said she provided multiple doctor opinions stating she "was fit to return to duty," she was ultimately terminated due to what Iron River City Manager David Thayer cited as "irreconiclable differences," NBC affiliate TV-6 reported. Thayer did not immediately respond to NBC Chicago's request for comment, but told TV-6 at the time the decision came from "a conflict with her management style."
"Dead North" premieres in a two-night event from 8-10 p.m. CT May 28-29.