CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL/WGHP) – A North Carolina murder suspect arrested in Carter County appeared in court Wednesday after police say they discovered he was driving with a woman’s body in his car.
The deceased woman was later identified as 19-year-old Gianna Delgado, a High Point University Student who shared an apartment with Michael Cadogan, her alleged killer. Delgado’s father spoke about this heartbreak over his daughter’s death.
“She went by Gia, and I called her my little worm,” he said.
Ricardo Delgado fondly remembers his daughter Gianna, who he says was determined to be successful.
“She was a great little girl,” he said. “She always fought for what she wanted. She did not deserve to end up this way.”
Delgado says Gianna had ended a brief relationship with the suspect, Michael Cadogan, but they still shared a lease on an apartment in High Point, North Carolina. He said that Cadogan would often take advantage of her love for her dog Franklin.
“He (Cadogan) would use the dog as leverage to underpower my daughter, and he’d kidnapped the dog before,” Delgado said.
Delgado said he received a call from someone who had found Gianna’s phone on the side of the road in Tennessee. The news of her death soon after was devastating.
“No parent should be going through this, what I’m going through right now,” he said.
Delgado hopes Cadogan receives the most severe sentence.
“I am going to be going for the death penalty, to the max,” Delgado said. “I don’t think he deserves that air that we breathe, because he definitely took my daughter’s last breath. And I will be there when he takes his.”
Delgado says he wants to meet the woman who called police and thank her.
“Gia would have done that, what you done, and I want you to know that she’s grateful that you did do the right thing and call the proper authorities,” he said.
Until that happens, Delgado will care for Gianna’s dog, while he deals with her death.
“I’m glad he’s here with us, because he’s the only thing I have left,” Delgado said.
As of Wednesday, Cadogan is still in Carter County awaiting extradition to North Carolina, where he is charged with murder. In Tennessee, he is charged with fugitive from justice and abuse of a corpse.