Its Been 13 Years Since 19 Year Old Rachel Cooke Went Missing on January 10, 2002 in North Lake Area, Georgetown, Texas
It is hard to believe that 19 year old Rachel Cooke has been missing for 13 years.
19 year old Rachel Cooke went missing on January 10. 2002 as she went for a morning run in the Northlake subdivision, Northwest of Georgetown, TX. The college student was home for the holidays and went on a morning run and was never seen or heard from again. Through the years so many searches have taken place and still no answers to what happened to Rachel. 13 years later, Rachel is still missing. Saturday marked the 13 years since Rachel went missing as family and friends gathered outside of Georgetown high school to remember Rachel Cooke. A tree was dedicated to Rachel Cooke in her honor in 2003. Her mother, Janet Cooke, hung a home made ornament from the tree and family and friends laid pink carnations at the foot of the tree.
With every year that passes, this tree gets a little bit stronger.”Rachel can’t be here but that tree is still here and it’s healthy,” says Janet Cooke, mother.
This is enough hope for Janet Cooke to keep going. “It’s something tangible. She loved to climb trees; she loved the outdoors. You know, it’s a good way to remember her and it’s here on school property,” says Cooke. She planted the memorial tree at Georgetown High School in honor of her 19-year-old daughter Rachel, who went missing on January 10, 2002.
She had went for a morning run in the Northlake subdivision, Northwest of Georgetown. It was between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m. that she was last seen, just two-hundred yards away from her parents’ home. “When Rachel was taken, this community was very close. It was a very small, close community and those first few weeks, thousands of people that I didn’t even know…the people I worked with, the people that knew Rachel, they were all out there. It didn’t matter, there were people who didn’t even know her out here looking. This is some place they can come to say hello,” says Cooke.
13 years later, Janet is still searching for answers. She continues to work with detectives to find out the truth behind Rachel’s disappearance. As time goes on, she says it gets harder and harder because there is no new information. “Keep her in your mind, because whoever did this is still out there. It’s not over until it’s over. I want answers and I want closure. I think the rest of the people that knew Rachel want the same,” says Cooke.
Janet is hoping one day she can change the tree’s plaque from missing to found.
Sadly, Rachel’s father, Robert Cooke, passed away on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 after battling a long-term illness. Robert never stopped looking for answers until the day he died and ironically maybe he finally found the answers he searched for upon his death. Personally, I never knew Rachel Cooke, but I did know her dad. I had the privilege of getting to know Robert and through him Rachel and what happened that terrible January day in 2002. I roomed with Robert Cooke in Aruba while searching for Natalee Holloway in 2005. We got to talk about many things, including his never ending pursuit to finding answers as to what happened to his daughter.
Now that task falls on to others as they will never stop searching for answers a to what happened to Rachel Cooke.
If anyone has any information about Rachel’s disappearance, please call the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 512-943-1300 or Williamson County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-253-7867.