Rachel Cooke - The Search For Rachel Phase I

Discussion in 'The Search for Rachel Cooke' started by JR, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Rachel Cooke - Missing

    Missing Since: Thursday, January 10, 2002 at10am
    Age: 19
    Missing From: Home in North Lake Area, Georgetown, TX.
    Sex: Female
    Height: 5ft. 2in.
    Weight: 120 lbs.
    Eye Color: Hazel
    Hair Color: Blonde with dark auburn streaks
    Race: Caucasion
    Complexion: Fair
    Birth Date: May 10, 1982

    Clothing: green sports top, gray sweat pants, Adidas shoes and carrying a yellow Walkman

    Last seen: Rachel was home from college when she disappeared while she was out on her morning jog.

    Information is being sought from 2 young men, approximately 17-21 years of age, who were reportedly in the area the morning Rachel disappeared. They were driving an older model white Camaro or TransAm with a black stripe at the bottom.

    Please call the Williamson County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-253-STOP if you have any information about RACHEL COOKE

    Or, call Texas Equusearch at 281-309-9500 FAX: 281-534-6719

    Prepared by: Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Rescue Team

    Download flyers from Texas EquuSearch Web Site: http://www.texasequusearch.org

    E-mail: texas_equusearch@hotmail.com
    Office: (281) 309-9500


    Edited to correct Rachel's hair coloring per Rachel's dad.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2002
  2. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member


    Search has hunted for 49 people in 18 months:
    33 have been returned home, nine bodies have been found and the rest are still missing.

    The Equusearch team members are personally invested in finding Rachel. For years many have been looking for missing adults and children, many of whom were their own daughters, sisters and cousins.

    "I know what if feels like - that lonely feeling when you're going through this," said Tim Miller, the director of Equusearch, which specializes in finding missing people, runaways and even Alzheimer''s patients.

    Mr. Miller's 16-year old daughter Laura vanished in League City in 1984, and after reporting her disappearance, he got no help from the police who assumed Laura was a runaway.

    "In 17-and-a-half months they found her body and two other girls," Mr. Miller said. "I decided I would never allow a family to go through this again."

    Mr. Miller and about nine of the Equusearch team members, have already committed to the search, and expect more to join. Some arrived in Georgetown Thursday at 3:30 a.m., and began a preliminary scope of the area by car in the fog, as soon as they arrived.

    Darryl Phillips of Houston, who is on the search team, said he would do anything to keep the Cookes from going through the same pain he has experienced. His sister will have been missing for 16 years in August. She was 21 when she was last seen at a party, and the only suspect in her case was found dead a month after her disappearance.

    The Equusearch members said they feel confident they will find Rachel Cooke. In the past, they have sometimes found missing people within hours, and the more help from the community, the better.

    "This one's going to be a really big search," said team member James Hamby, whose cousin was murdered 16 years ago. "Lots of people want to help. This is a small town and the people usally all want to be involved."

    If need be, the team will expand their search beyond the planned 20-mile radius from the Cooke's home.

    More than 200 community volunteers on foot, horseback, all-terrain vehicles and helicopters met Friday at Faith Lutheran Church, Equusearch's temporary headquarters, to begin the search. Many of the Cooke's neighbors, friends, family and others are helping, and Equusearch is still asking for volunteers.

    The Williamson County Sheriff's Office searched the Cooke's neighborhood, Lake Georgetown, and Russell, Jim Hogg and Cedar Breaks parks last weekend and early in the week, but found no clues as to Rachel's whereabouts. They have not dragged the lake.

    They are still looking, however, for two young men driving a white older-model sports car with black stripes at the bottom, seen near the time and site of Rachel Cooke's disappearance.

    The Cooke's and friends are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to their daughter's recovery. "We still have hope," Janet Cooke said Thursday.

    If you would like to volunteer for the search, call Equusearch at 281-309-9500. Someone is available to answer 24 hours a day. If you have information involving Rachel Cooke's disappearance, please call the sheriff's department investigators at 512-943-1313 or 512-943-1312.

    The Sunday Sun 20 January 2002
    (The Williamson County Sun)
  3. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    About Texas Equusearch

    The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team was started in August, 2000 with the purpose to provide Volunteer Horse Mounted Search and Recovery for Lost and Missing persons.

    The Team was started in the North Galveston County area because of the high incidence of missing persons in the largely undeveloped area of South Harris and North Galveston Counties. With this in mind, the team's existence and purpose are dedicated to the memory of Laura Miller, a young woman abducted and murdered in North Galveston County in 1984. Laura was the daughter of our director,Tim Miller. Our team is composed of volunteers of various experiences, but most are experienced horse owners.

    We currently have approximately 2500 members and are growing rapidly. We are currently available to conduct searches state wide. We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, which is funded solely by donations from team members and the surrounding communities.

    You will find our organization to be compassionate, dedicated and professional. We believe that we can better ourselves by working together to help the community and people in need. Many of our members are trained in various rescue and life saving skills such as CPR, advanced lifesaving skills and field craft. Our members come from all walks of life. We have business owners, medics, firefighters, housewives, electricians and students on our team. We are currently working on putting teams together for foot searches, water (divers, boats) air (planes, helicopters) and 4x4's.

    Texas EquuSearch is a professional organization and we take notification of a missing person very seriously. If you are interested in volunteering with us, making a donation, learning more or, God forbid, you need our help, please contact us.
  4. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Have you seen this man?

    The Williamson County Sheriff's Office is looking for a man to question in the disappearance of Rachel Cooke, the 19-year old who was last seen jogging on January 10 in the Northlake area.

    The man is white, six feet tall, weighs about 180 pounds, and is likely 18 to 25 years old. He has black hair, a muscular slim build, and has an injured hand that would probably require medical attention.

    He was last seen driving a small white Nissan or Toyota pickup near the Northlake area.

    Wendy Denson, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office said the man is only wanted as a witness. However, it is crucial that the office interview him. The sheriff expects he may be in Williamson or Travis counties, Ms. Denson said.

    The Sunday Sun 20 January 2002
    (The Williamson County Sun)
  5. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Reward Increased

    **** $25,000 Reward Offered for reliable information leading to the return or location of Rachel Cooke or the identity of any person invovled in her disappearance. Final decisions to the amount of reward paid, is within the discretion of the reward committee.
  6. Kip

    Kip Member


    I'm glad you started this thread. I had searched on google and the apwire stories earlier today to see if there was ay new information. When I didn't find anything, I figured she hadn't been found yet. Abductions by strangers are so difficult to solve--so few clues.

    Years ago, after a rash of child abductions around here, I suggested to some missing kids group that there be some sort of network (phone tree, fax tree, computer alerts, etc.) set in place to alert gas stations within a 300 or 400 mile radius after an abduction. In Rachel's case, they have a description of a suspect car and it's fairly distinctive. Whether the car remains in the local area, or was trying to leave the area, it will eventually end up at a gas station.

    I don't know what to say...these cases leave me speechless...I hurt for Rachel, I hurt for Rachel's family. I hope the *******(s) are caught and that Rachel turns up safe.
  7. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member


    Of concern...I was just perusing the web site of Equusearch and several young blond girls have gone missing in between here and Houson over the past year plus. I am wondering if the search team or cops are looking at just how many are on the Equusearch site that are about the same age, height, weight and coloring. I was just thinking about trying to get up early enough to go help with the search tomorrow morning. If Belle remains somewhat stable, I would love to become involved, but she is my first priority.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2002
  8. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Equusearch Needs Your Help

    There is a search in progress for Rachel Cooke. Please help in the search for her by downloading and posting the flyer in as many places as possible and participating in the search if possible. If you are able to participate in any way please call the office at 281-309-9500 or come to the command center at: Faith Lutheran Church Lc-Ms, 4010 Williams Drive, Georgetown, TX 78628. If you would like to make a donation, Rachel Cooke's parents have asked that any donations be sent to the First State Bank of Texas and made out to Texas EquuSearch. The address to the bank is:

    First State Bank of
    Texas, 2415 Williams Drive,
    Georgetown, TX 78628, (512) 868-9023

    Our February monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, February 12th at 7pm at our Dickinson office. Please plan on attending! If you need directions, please email us.

    Make sure to include the location you will be leaving from in the email.

    If you would like to help us finish the office, please contact us via email and let us know. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Update on Rachel's Case

    Rachel is still missing, leads are followed as they come in.

    The man in question in the newspaper print turned himself in and has been cleared. His name was not released because of who he is and the circumstances of how he came to the attention of the Investigators to begin with.

    The car and two kids that were being looked for were located and their statements appear to have checked out.

    Equusearch needs volunteers and donations of funds or office type items such as pens, Shappie pens, Highlighters, copy paper and so on.

    More importantly, if you live close enough to Georgetown to volunteer in the search for Rachel, search volunteers are needed. The team has been blessed with many people bringing in lots of food but they need bodies over 18 to help in the actual search. Feel free to contact me if you need more information and would like to help Equusearch. These folks are fantastic!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2002
  10. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    We Love You Rachel

    This memory board has been placed in the search team headquarters to remind everyone of who Rachel is and how much she is loved.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  11. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Search for Rachel

    Equusearch is coordinating this effort. Many people have volunteered and many miles have been covered but there is a lot of milage yet to be covered. We want Rachel home!

    One search team from January 26 2002 (7 out of 8 members, the 8th was taking the picture.) This group had just spent about 3 hours walking a very rough terrain grid with lots of undergrowth.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  12. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Search Teams

    Six of the eight members on the search team went back out for another round with the undergrowth. One of the other team members stayed to man the check in desk and the eighth member was committed elsewhere. We will not give up until Rachel is found.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2002
  13. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Search team bulletins

    Bulletins are posted on entry door to the local headquarters for Equusearch. The orange sign says:

    Thanks to our volunteers we have searched approx 325 linear miles in two counties (on foot) and 750 square miles in four counties (by air) - as of Friday, Jan. 25. Thank you!

    Not noted is the milage covered on horseback!

    Yellow ribbons are everywhere about town as are posters. Each volunteer wears a yellow ribbon on their shirt as well as a name tag. The family of Rachel Cook is at the command post 12 hours a day making the ribbons, clipping news articles, making photocopies and a variety of other tasks. It is obvious that thay are exhausted, frustrated, in agony over Rachel's safety and clearly dedicated to helping bring Rachel home. This includes extended family, which is a good indication of how well loved Rachel truly is.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  14. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Search tools

    This is a map of the county Rachel disappeared in. There is a lot of undeveloped land to cover in this county alone!

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  15. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Bring Rachel Home

    Here is a shot of the yellow lapel ribbons along with a news article waiting to be clipped.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  16. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Another way to volunteer

    This shot is of just one of the many, many tables of food that volunteers prepare and drop off through-out each day. If volunteers weren't walking all those miles they would find their jeans getting snug because let me tell you folks, "them's good groceries!"

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  17. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Break Time

    <b>All</b> volunteers are required to take breaks.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  18. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Trying to get volunteers

    Signs were posted on both sides of the road and those under 18 who wish to volunteer stand at the signs and wave traffic into the parking lot. There is something for every "body" to do and most are at the command center many, many hours during the day.

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  19. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Command Center

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
  20. JR

    JR FFJ Senior Member

    Signing in and getting assignments

    Copyright ©2002 Jacqueline L. Riggs
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