Vital Statistics at Time of DisappearanceMissing Since: March 22, 1980 from Newton, New Hampshire
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: December 30, 1964
Age: 15 years old
Height and Weight: 5'1, 100 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Light brown hair, hazel eyes. Garden's ears are pierced. She wore a dental retainer, but left it behind when she disappeared. Some agencies may spell her first name "Rachel."
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A two-tone blue ski parka, jeans, a plaid shirt with silver threads and brown lace-up shoes.
Details of DisappearanceGarden purchased a pack of cigarettes and chewing gum at Rowe's Corner Market on Route 108 in Newton, New Hampshire on March 22, 1980. She paid with a $5 bill, received her change and departed from the store between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. and began walking to a friend's house in the 50 block of north Main Street where she planned to spend the night. Garden never arrived as scheduled and has not been heard from again. She was carrying a dark blue tote bag with the word "Things" imprinted on one side at the time of her disappearance. Her parents reported her as a missing person at 10:00 a.m. the day after she was last seen.
An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to Garden's whereabouts. She left all of her belongings behind at her family's residence, including her dental retainer. Garden owned a horse and her family members said it was uncharacteristic of her to leave the animal unattended.
On the night of her disappearance, Garden was seen talking to three male acquaintances in a dark-colored car near Rowe's Market. The men all had troubled reputations and were involved in criminal activity; one of them later served a prison term for assault and rape. After Garden's disappearance, one of the men allegedly confessed to killing her. The reported confession caused police to dig up a site off Route 108 to look for Garden's remains, but no evidence was located. It is unknown whether any of the men were actually involved in Garden's case.
Garden is the oldest of four children. She was a freshman at Sanborn Regional High School in 1980. Her loved ones describe her as outspoken, fun-loving, friendly and occasionally rebellious. She had a good relationship with her siblings, but sometimes resented having to babysit them. She complained to friends about her parents' rules, and sometimes skipped school to smoke and drink alcohol with other teenagers in the woods near Maple Avenue. Because of her age at the time of her disappearance, Garden was originally thought to be a runaway. Although a voluntary disappearance is still considered a possibility, investigators are now investigating other theories as well, including the possibility of foul play. Garden's case is classified as a non-family abduction due to the lack of available evidence. While there is no evidence that the two cases are connected, it is worth noting that Laureen Rahn, another petite brunette about the same age as Garden, disappeared from a nearby town just a month after Garden did and was never found. Rahn's case remains unsolved as well and is also classified as a non-family abduction.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Rockingham County Sheriff's Office
Newton Police Department
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
Nation's Missing Children Organization
Police in New Hampshire say a strong tip in the disappearance of a Newton girl 28 years ago has sparked new interest in the cold case.
Rachel Garden was last seen alive in March 1980.
Investigators have started searching ponds in Newton, N.H., not far from where Garden disappeared.
Peter Jewett is one of the last people who saw her the day she disappeared.
"It has haunted everybody," he said. Jewett owned the general store where Garden was last seen.
He said he can still see the 15-year-old girl in his mind.
"She was a little spit fire, five feet tall and full of energy," he recalled. "A great girl."
Not sure if possible, but a brown shoe with human remains located in Merrimack River from a NH treatment plant. Rachael had brown lace up shoes.
I also posted the same for another missing NH woman , also wearing brown shoes.