Rachel Cooke

Rachel Cooke

Terryn Sears, Reporter

Rachel Cooke went missing on Thursday, January 10, 2002. She attended school in San Diego, but grew up in Texas. Rachel and her boyfriend Greg had been visiting her home town for winter break. Greg; however left early so he could spend time with his family; which is a decision he will later regret. On the day Rachel went missing her family had left her home alone to go off and do their own things. When her dad had came back from his work, Rachel was not home, even though they had a plan to go out shopping. This was extremely weird since Rachel didn’t have a car to go anywhere. Her dad didn’t want to think the worse, so he called her childhood friend hoping Rachel would have been hanging out with her; however, her friend had no idea where she was. Her friend also got extremely worried after Rachel’s dad told her that she left all her belongs. Rachel’s friend knew that she would never go ANYWHERE without her makeup and her phone. Her family searched through the whole house, and found that her running shoes, workout clothes, and her portal music player were not there. The family immediately started to search the surrounding area for her or anything that belonged to her. Rachel did take long runs, but she definitely should have been back by now. The family came up empty handed in their search. They didn’t report her missing right away though, because the family thought that they had to wait twenty-four hours before reporting someone missing. As soon as they could, her family went to the police station to report her missing. Her case was not taken seriously at first. It wasn’t until a different ranger than the one that took the report heard about the case. He started a search the area as soon as he could; however,  he didn’t hear about it till three days after. The search party couldn’t start till Sunday due to the fact that the police did not take it seriously. The search party came up with nothing. The police station, however, did come up with how that day might have went for her. Investigators believe she left her home at 9:30 a.m. and when on a run. She was last seen 200 yards from her house. Neighbors reported seeing a white Pontiac Trans Am or Cameron in the area surrounding Rachel’s home. This lead to many persons of interest, however no names were given to the public.  The police kept looking into the case as well as searching for a body, but nothing ever came up. There was nothing other then circumstantial evidence linking any persons of interest to the case. Nothing came up for years. There was no new evidence until in April 2018 when Chofu, the chief of police, said the cold case unit helped recover a 1998 white Pontiac Trans Am. Then in September of that same year police possible found presence of blood on the floor boards. After this there was no new evidence found. Rachel’s family has now declared her legally dead, and her father as passed away due to cancer.