Maryland man charged in Valentine's Day killing of estranged wife

By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The hunt had been on for Sonia Cobb since Valentine's Day. On what was supposed to be one last date with her estranged husband, her cousin said, the 39-year-old White Plains woman had called her youngest daughter, screamed into the phone, then hung up. She did not pick up when others called back.

A day later, the family's worst fears were realized. From the parking lot of a Home Depot in Prince George's County, Sonia Cobb's husband, Daniel G. Cobb Sr., called his mother with a chilling revelation.

"I killed Sonia," Maxine Cobb recalled her son saying, "and I'm on my way out."

Then, in another phone call just moments later, he told her why: "This is what love will do."

On Tuesday, police charged Daniel Cobb, 55, with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, according to court records and family members. He is being held in the county jail, police say.

Police said Sonia Cobb was killed about 6 p.m. Sunday at the Cedar Heights Community Center park at 1200 Glen Willow Dr. in Seat Pleasant, and that the slaying stemmed from a "domestic dispute." Court records and interviews with family members confirm that the Cobbs' relationship was, in recent months at least, marred by domestic violence.

From the beginning, Sonia Cobb, a beautician and manager of a Hair Cuttery in Silver Spring, had reservations about her Valentine's Day date with her estranged husband, said her cousin, 39-year-old Reese Wright. The setting was romantic enough -- McCormick & Schmick's restaurant in National Harbor -- but Sonia was no longer interested in being in a relationship with a man who abused her, Wright said.

"She said she got a strange feeling," Wright said. "She really didn't want to go, but she went so he would stop nagging her."

A little after 4 p.m., Wright said, Sonia Cobb called the youngest of her three daughters for help with directions.

Then, a short time later, she called back, simply yelling her oldest daughter's name into the phone "like she needed help," Wright said.

Wright said family members called police in Prince George's and Charles County. But it was not until the next day that they heard from Sonia Cobb or her husband.

Maxine Cobb, 71, got the call from her son about 2:30 p.m. Monday. He admitted killing his wife, she said, then hung up, saying he was losing a lot of blood.

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