Real Name: Rachel Louise Cooke
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Date: January 10, 2002
Date of Birth: May 10, 1982
Weight: 110-120 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair with auburn streaks, hazel eyes. She also has multiple piercings in both ears, two heart-shaped cherry tattoos on her left shoulder, and a black star tattoo on her left foot.
Details: Nineteen-year-old Rachel Cooke was staying at her parents' home in Georgetown, Texas during winter break from Mesa Junior College in San Diego. When her mother, Janet, left for work at 8am on January 10, 2002, she was asleep on the couch. When she awoke, she decided to go for her training run; she had been on the school cross-country team and was taking regular four-mile runs in the morning.
Authorities believe that Rachel left home at around 9:30am, and witnesses spotted her at various points on her route. Several neighbors saw her at 11am, near the end of her run, just 200 yards from her home. Her father, Robert, returned home at 3pm to go shopping with her, but she was not there and had not left a note. Her family became concerned when she didn't return home that day. An extensive search was conducted, but no trace of her was found. Authorities and her family are still trying to figure out what happened to her.
Suspects: None known, although an unidentified Native American male in his late teens or early twenties was seen talking to a female jogger, possibly Rachel, on the day she vanished. Also, a late-model white or blue Chevrolet Camaro or Pontiac Trans Am with white or black stripes along the hood and trunk was seen in Rachel's neighborhood around the time she vanished.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 12, 2002 episode. It was also profiled on America's Most Wanted and Disappeared.
Results: Unsolved. In 2006, inmate Michael Keith Moore confessed to Rachel's murder while in prison for an unrelated murder. He claimed that he abducted her, killed her with a hammer, and dumped her body into the Gulf of Mexico. He was scheduled to plead guilty to her murder when he suddenly backed out of the plea, admitting that he fabricated the confession for preferential treatment. However, authorities believed that his confession was accurate; despite this, the charges were later dropped.
In July 2017, investigators received a tip about possible human remains buried in a field that might be hers. However, a search of there turned up nothing. Then, in April 2018, investigators announced a possible break in this case: they had located and impounded a car matching the description of one seen in Rachel's neighborhood the morning of her disappearance. It is a Pontiac Trans Am that was located in Dallas. It is linked to three persons of interest in this case. The FBI conducted an analysis of it, in hopes of finding DNA or other evidence. DNA experts stated that it is likely that DNA evidence could still be found in the trunk, even after all of this time. In September, it was announced that it had tested positive for the "possible presence of blood". A search was conducted in Georgetown in December, but it is not known if anything was found.
In January 2021, investigators announced that they were searching for a man who may have information on this case. He had lived in Georgetown in 2002 and was an acquaintance of hers. He is believed to have been involved in the cattle and horse industry. They believe that he may have mentioned details of this case to an acquaintance of his, "likely speaking of the incident in third person and distancing himself from any actual involvement".
Sadly, Rachel's father, Robert, passed away in 2014. A $100,000 reward is being offered in this case.
- Rachel Cooke on Unsolved Archive
- Rachel Cooke on the Charley Project
- Rachel Cooke on the Doe Network
- Rachel Cooke on the FBI Website
- Help needed today to look for teen - January 18, 2002
- Searching for Rachel: Authorities continue to look for Georgetown woman - January 24, 2002
- Volunteers spread search for missing Georgetown woman throughout Texas - February 25, 2002
- Rachel Cooke's parents cope with absence - April 29, 2002
- Town shaken by Cooke's disappearance - April 30, 2002
- Officials baffled by Cooke's disappearance - May 1, 2002
- Missing woman honored at her school - January 11, 2003
- On his first day on the job, sheriff remembers Rachel Cooke - January 10, 2004
- Plea agreement falls apart in murder case - November 10, 2006
- Moore says investigators should have seen holes in story - June 16, 2007
- Father of missing Georgetown Teen dies - November 5, 2014
- Human remains search possibly tied to Rachel Cooke comes up empty - June 9, 2017
- Hopes of finding missing Georgetown teen dashed again - June 11, 2017
- Reward up to $100,000 for info on Rachel Cooke, missing since 2002 - September 28, 2017
- Where is Rachel Cooke? Texas woman remains missing as investigation is renewed with new sheriff in town - December 1, 2017
- Impounded car may have evidence in Rachel Cooke case - April 12, 2018
- Car linked to Rachel Cooke case impounded for forensic analysis - April 12, 2018
- Car linked to Texas cold case tests positive for "possible presence of blood", sheriff says - September 30, 2018
- Rachel Cooke's family marks 17 years since her disappearance - January 10, 2019
- Investigators asking person who provided tip on Rachel Cooke cold case to call back - August 17, 2020
- Williamson County sheriff searching for man with details about missing Rachel Cooke - January 10, 2021