The Girl Who Went For A Run And Never Returned – What Happened To Rachel Cooke?

I first heard about this case on the Going West podcast

Who is Rachel Cooke

Rachel Cooke, a 19 Year Old from Georgetown Texas, attended Mesa Junior College in San Diego, California.

In December 2001, she went home to Georgetown with her boyfriend Greg to visit her family for the holidays.

What Happened

After the holidays, Greg returned to San Diego and Rachel stayed to attend a family wedding.

On the morning of 10th January 2002, Rachel’s sister went off to school, her parents went to work and Rachel prepared to go for a run, a 6 mile route she had run regularly for many years. Before her run, she spoke to Greg and said she would call him when she got back.

Later that day, Rachel’s father returned home early from work as they had planned to go shopping, so he was confused to find that Rachel was not at home, although her belongings, including her mobile phone and purse, were still there.

He decided she must be at work, as she was going to do some shifts at a local restaurant whilst she was home. When her mum got home from work, she called the restaurant and they confirmed that Rachel was indeed working her shift at that time.

The following morning, Rachel had still not returned home, her parents called the restaurant back, to see what time she had finished her shift and they were then informed that it was a mistake had been made and it was actually a different Rachel that had been working the day before.

Her parents, now extremely worried, saw that her running things were missing so realised that she must have gone missing during a run. Greg would also later confirm that he had spoken to her just before her run and that she never did call him back as she said she would.

Rachel’s father got in his car and drove along the route Rachel usually ran and her mum called around her friends, where her best friend said they had dinner plans the night before and Rachel had not turned up, this was unusual. Rachel’s mum also called around the hospitals to see if she had been taken in.

The Search

Rachel’s parents then went to the local police, who were not initially concerned, saying it was probably a misunderstanding. 

Rachel’s family organised a search the following morning with friends and neighbours, some of whom used their horses. Police joined the search and two days later, the Texas Rangers also joined.

Greg, flew back from San Diego, police checked his phone records, which confirmed he was in San Diego at the time of Rachels’s disappearance, and he also passed a polygraph test.

Neighbours saw Rachel run past their house around 11 am, which would have been at the end of her run and only around 200 yards from her home.

Searches included helicopters and Cadaver dogs. Rachel’s family and friends searched daily for around 9 months with no evidence uncovered.

Sadly, Rachel’s father passed away in 2014 at age 59, never knowing what had happened to Rachel

In 2017, a tip was received about possible human remains buried in a field that may be Rachel’s but nothing was uncovered.

In 2018, a white Trans Am that was located in Dallas was believed to be connected to a person of interest in this case with potential traces of blood on the passenger floor and door, however, no further update was provided.


A White Camaro was seen driving around the neighbourhood with 2 males in their early 20s at around the time Rachel would have gotten back from her run, however, these individuals were questioned and eventually cleared.

Another male was seen talking to a female runner in the area, nothing further was ever reported on this.

Rachel’s ex-boyfriend Thomas is thought to have been a suspect. He did not take their break up well, turning up at her family home and when she later got with Greg, he had to ask Thomas to leave Rachel alone. Details such as his surname or description were never released.

In 2006, Michael Keith Moore, who was already in prison for the murder of a pregnant woman, confessed to murdering Rachel with a hammer and dumping her body in the Gulf of Mexico.

2 months after his confession, he changed his plea to not guilty saying he made it up to get special privileges in prison and the charges were later dropped.

In 2021, it was announced that, after reviewing over 2000 tips, police were looking for a man who may be able to assist with the case. 

He had lived in the area at the time of Rachel’s disappearance and was believed to have been an acquaintance of hers. He is believed to have been in the cattle and horse industry, but there are no further updates on this.

There is still a $100,000 reward in this case.

What are your thoughts? ♥️

2022-07-19 13:37:00

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *