Pregnant Richmond woman killed in bedroom; man arrested

Posted at 2:52 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 17:56:36-04

George Cooke Jr. (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

RICHMOND, Va. -- Rita Hawthorne, 27, was six-weeks pregnant when she was found stabbed to death Sunday in the bedroom of her Richmond home, family members confirmed. Her mother found her body.

George Cooke Jr., 23, of Henrico, has been arrested in connection to Hawthorne's death. Cooke is currently charged with Burglary: Enter House to Murder/Rape/etc., according to court documents.

Hawthorne and Cooke had been involved in a relationship, Hawthorne's family members confirmed.

"She loved to be with her family. All the time she was with her family," Hawthorne aunt Rhonda Thorn said. "She never did nothing to nobody."

Hawthorne's body was found in a second-floor bedroom of her home on East 16th Street Sunday afternoon.

The Medical Examiner’s Office will officially determine her cause of death.

Hawthorne attended Armstrong High School, according to her Facebook page.

Rita B. Hawthorne

Cooke attended Hermitage High School and went on to play college basketball for Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.

The people who answered the door at Cooke's Henrico home had no comment on the situation.

Cooke is being held in Richmond jail without bond.

If you have information that could help investigators, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000. You can also submit a news tip here.

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