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Rachel Cooke goes missing while jogging in Texas in 2002

Rachel Cooke

Missing Person Texas Rachel Cooke

New unheard of information on this case. – January 11, 2020 – We went to the location where Rachel was before she went missing.  We were able to find her home and then decided to drive where she was known to be running for her cross country training.  We were not sure which route she took.  I reached out to many people to ask them and researched archives but other than stating she was last seen on  Neches Trail there was not much information out there.  I was curious as to what route she took and where she might have gone from 9:30 to approximately 11 a.m.  I knew from her mother’s statements that Rachel had regularly ran 4 miles.  So, we were looking for a route that would be at least 2 miles long–2 miles there and 2 miles back would be that 4 miles.  When we first began going down the road in front of her home, we ran into a dead in.  There was private property there and a home, and it was unlikely that she would have attempted to run there.  We turned around and went the other way and ran into another dead end.  Looking at this map below you can see where this area is locked end.  There is only two ways in our out of there.

In that area there was no route that was 2 miles long.  She would have had to have left that area and gone on a major road.  That major road is FM3405 AKA as N. Lake Road.  We drove to N Lake Road and went west first.  Before the 2 miles we ran into dips in the road, going up and down.  Also, there was no place to run alongside the road.  This is what stuck out to us most.  She would not have been safe to run alongside the road.  She would have had to run farther to the right but it was rocky uneven paths, but I knew that cross country runners do run on dirt paths.  But, the hill, made us believe that she would not have gone that way.

We returned back and went the other way.  Once again we noted there was no safe place for her to go, but we pressed on to the 2 mile mark.  This way had no hills, but there was no easy place to run.  The traffic was fast and frequent, but we reminded ourselves that it would not been like this back in 2002.  We video taped the route, never feeling satisfied that we were traveling the right way.

Then we learned of another route she may have taken.  Janet, Rachel’s mother mentioned that Rachel told her mom that she was thinking of running all the way to the lake.  Research shows me that the lake would have been the last route we took but we would have had to have turn.  Google maps shows one route that takes you past the lake to the far side, but I saw another road –262, that would take you to the lake that was closer.  This is not confirmed because we did not drive there and Google maps said there is restricted access and private roads that way, so it is not clear if you can actually get to the lake that way.  With a bike it would take her over an hour on a bike and 3 hours walking, so dividing that in half it looks like she could have done it in 1.5 hours.   We do not know if Rachel actually went to the lake that day, but it does help to determine that she likely did go that way towards the lake because she had been thinking of going further all the way to the lake.  We do not know for sure if she took this route for sure, but we do know the other way would take her on Williams Road and that was a busy road even back in 2002.

But, going that far is much farther than what her usual route was.  If she was going two miles down like we stated before it would have taken her to Woodcrest.

With that route we are looking at it taking her about 30 minutes to Woodcrest for her to run, and 45 minutes if she walked.  Up and back would have taken her anywhere from one hour to hour and 30 minutes, depending if she walk some of the route or ran the whole way.  Rachel left at 9:30 and was seen on Neches Trail at 11 a.m., an hour and 30 minutes later.

Then yesterday, while I was doing more research I got a response to one of my inquiries from AP who is a journalist.  She told me that in 2002 she was living in the area and she reported an incident that happened to her “a week or so” before Rachel Cooke went missing.  Here is her story:

“To Whom It May Concern:

I have called in, emailed, etc. for years ever since Rachel disappeared. I have talked to a cold case sheriff’s deputy as well.  I will try again in hopes that someone somewhere will follow up.  A relative sent me the recent sketches of suspects and THEY LOOK LIKE THE PEOPLE I SAW.

I lived in the next neighborhood over from Rachel’s family. A few days before she disappeared I was on my street (Indian Springs) walking my three German Shepherds. In spite of my large dogs barking and lunging at a white car (Volkswagon, 2 door, Fox or something similar), the car slowed down and 3 Hispanic men (all under 30 years of age) stared at me very aggressively. They even turned around at the front of my gaited drive way and came back by, staring hard at me and driving very slowly so I got a good look at them. The driver looked like suspect with the cap, although I do not recall a cap. One of the others looked like the second sketch. I recall them having blue handkerchiefs either over their faces or tied around their necks. They only stopped following me when I walked behind a neighbor’s house and knocked on her door (she wasn’t home).

This happened a week or so before Rachel disappeared. I called my husband when I got home and shared this with him. I thought it was very aggressive of them to be staring at me so hard when my dogs would have attacked them and my dogs made that very clear.”

So, you will note that AP said the car was a white VW, like a Fox.  I asked her again about it and she said she had a friend that had a car like that, so that’s why she recognized it.

But, everyone is concentrating on the white Trans Am.  Rachel’s mom stated that she was the one that brought up the white Trans Am because it was one of the cars that she had seen around her house and she reported it suspicious.  Then fast forward years later and the police have conviscated a Trans am, and are still doing forensics on it.

AP also stated that she post on Twitter about the incident that happened to her and got a response from a man that said he knew who the person was, and reported it, and he never got a call back from the police either.

When AP pressed for more, he responded that the man worked in construction.

We don’t know if the police already have a suspect in mind and maybe the person or persons are the same one that AP saw and the man on Twitter knew.  Maybe, just maybe the police haven’t called them because they already know what they know.  But, they can’t do an arrest until they have enough evidence to arrest them and that is why the car is being searched so thoroughly for evidence, to find that evidence.

Also, during this research, we found there is a man that answered AP’s post on Twitter where he stated he new who the suspect was . When AP asked if the person was in construction, he said yes.  He has been matched with Rachel’s family and is talking with them now.

I was able to facilitate a meeting with AP and an individual that would be able to get AP’s information to the Sheriff.  That was done on Wednesday night, January 15, 2020.  As of this writing AP is still waiting to hear from the Sheriff regarding this info.

And lastly, during our conversation, we realized that there is another individual that was involved in an incident in 2002 in Georgetown that should also be talked with.  Because I don’t want it to interfere with the case, this is all that I can say at this time.  Please understand.  That information, along with documentation has also been given to the Sheriff as of January 15, 2020.

This ends for the new information heard about this case.  Any new I find out after January 16, 2010, will be added above.  Thank you for readying.  Anything below the line is updates and initial background story on the Rachel Cooke case.


May 10, 2019 – The FBI has announced that a billboard bearing Rachel’s photo has been put up in Williamson County Texas.  Anyone who has information on what happened the morning of January 10, 2002, or where Cooke is, is urged to call the FBI at 1-800-225-5324. You can also submit tips at tips.fbi.gov.

Sept. 6, 2018 – Evidence from the 1998 Trans Am was processed by the FBI, and the possible presence of blood was found on an item in the passenger floorboard.  They also, believe there is possible presence of blood on an item on the passenger door molding.

April 14, 2018 – Authorities recovered a white Trans Am from the Dallas area after receiving a tip.  Wilco Sheriff Robert Chody said the sports car is tied to three to four persons of interest, but didn’t name who they were.  More research states specifically three persons, so I deduct this to mean there has been three registered owners of the car.  Hopefully, the DNA analysts will find forensic evidence.  Witnesses reported seeing the car traveling on Navajo Trail and turning south on Neches Trail that day, about 100 yards from Cooke’s home.  The car that was impounded is believed to be the same car.

Original Story:

Rachel Cooke, 19,  went missing in Georgetown, Texas on Jan. 10, 2002.  Rachel was attending San Diego Mesa College and was home on the winter break.  She was last seen by her family sleeping on the couch at 8:00 am on January 10, 2002. After her mom went to work, Rachel went for a jog around 9:30 a.m. for her daily 4-mile run at approximately 9:30 am. She was seen walking towards her home on 224 Neches Trail near Navajo Trail around 11 a.m. wearing a gray running outfit, green sports bra, Asics running shoes and a yellow Walkman with headphones. Another account saw her between 11:00 am and 11:30 am near the 200 block of Neches Trail.

Witnesses told authorities an unidentified male in his late teens or early 20s was seen driving in the area. He was seen talking to a female jogger at the time. He and possibly another male were in a late-model white or blue Chevrolet Camaro or Pontiac Trans Am with stripes. Authorities are also asking for info concerning a white pickup seen in the area.

Rachel’s father stated in 2003, “I have 5 suspects on my personal list. Law enforcement has some ideas on suspects but none have been identified to me. As far as I’m concerned they have not eliminated anyone. It could be someone I don’t even know about like a construction worker who saw Rachel running. I’m not eliminating a serial killer, but it’s unlikely.  If I were running the case, I would research each possible suspect until I eliminated them and then move on to someone else. They haven’t done that.”

New attention brought to the case in 2017

Sheriff Chody took office in January from Sheriff Maspero, and started a new cold case team to help solve this case.

In November 2017, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Dept. began placing paid ads on Facebook about missing Rachel.

A former deputy, John Foster came forward in September 2017 criticizing Sheriff Maspero.  He stated he felt that Sheriff Maspero was slow to search for Cooke. He also stated that Maspero did not let them questioned the Cooke family about Rachel’s disappearance, reports KXAN.

A $50,000 reward matched by an additional $50,000 from her family, increased the total reward for $100,000 on Sept. 29, 2017.

Search for body

In June, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about possible human remains buried on the property at 221 Chaparral Dr. in Liberty Hill but nothing was found after a thorough search.

In 2011, KXAN interviewed  Equusearch founder Tim Miller, who also blamed Sheriff Maspero.

“I think Maspero from the very beginning dropped the ball,” Miller.

According to charleyproject.org, witnesses told authorities that an unidentified man was driving a late-model white or blue Chevrolet Camaro or Pontiac Trans Am in the area.  Another account stated there was more than one man in the car and there were two men inside the vehicle.

Michael Keith Moore was convicted of killing Christina Moore of Round Rock in 2003.  He told police he also killed Rachel Cooke but he changed his story later.  Although the police stated he told them things only the killer would know, Rachel’s father is not sure if Moore committed the crime or not.

Rachel has a tattoo of two heart-shaped cherries on her left shoulder and a black star on her left foot near her pinky toe.

Contact 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov if you have any information about Rachel’s whereabouts.

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