NH RACHEL ELIZABETH GARDEN: Missing from Newton, NH - 22 Mar 1980 - Age 15

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66UFNH - Rachael Elizabeth Garden
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The second and third images are age-progressed to 42 and 48 yrs.

Name: Rachael Elizabeth Garden
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: March 22, 1980
Location Last Seen: Newton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire

Physical Description
Date of Birth: December 30, 1964
Age: 15 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: 5'1"
Weight: 100 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Rachael has pierced ears.

Identifiers
Dentals: Available. Rachael had orthodontic work, three fillings and her four "wisdom" teeth removed, prior to the orthodontic work.
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items
Clothing: Blue jeans, a two-tone blue ski parka, and a plaid shirt with silver threads.
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Brown lace-up shoes, dark blue purse/tote bag with the word "Things" on its side.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Rachael was last seen at a Rowes Corner Market on Route 108 in Newton, NH at approximately 9:00 pm on March 22, 1980. After she paid $5.00 for a pack of cigarettes she left the store heading north toward North Main Street. Garden was a regular customer at the store.

She was a ninth-grade student at Sanborn Regional High at the time of her disappearance. She was the oldest of four children. In her free time, Rachael often walked the quarter-mile down to Rowe's Corner Market, looking for some excitement. Sometimes she went to the hill across from Maple Avenue, a place where local teens often congregated.

Rachael's parents called the police station at about 10:00 am the next morning to report their child missing. Rachael's mother said that she knew right away something was seriously wrong when Rachael did not return to the family's small cape on Main Street. Rachael was considered a runaway by police in the first months after her disappearance. She was described as a headstrong and rebellious teenager, fun-seeking and outspoken.

With a population barely over 3,000 people, Newton at the time, had only one full-time police officer. Over the years police investigators have checked numerous leads including possible sightings, talked with people who knew her, worked with psychics, used dogs and excavated sites looking for remains. Rachael left behind her horse, her dental retainer and other possessions. He parents have consulted psychics and hired private investigators to no avail. Years later at least two witnesses reported seeing Rachael talking to three young men in a dark car in the vicinity of Rowe's Market and Maple Avenue.

Investigating Agency(s)
Agency Name: New Hampshire State Police - Major Crimes
Agency Contact Person: Trooper Michael Kokowski
Agency Phone Number: 603-223-3856
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: Unknown

Agency Name: New Hampshire State Police - Cold Cases
Agency Contact Person: Sergeant Jeffrey Ladieu
Agency Phone Number: 603-223-8575
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: Unknown

Agency Name: Rockingham County Sheriff's Office - Missing Persons Unit
Agency Contact Person: Sergeant Jay Murphy
Agency Phone Number: 603-679-2225
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N80100

NCIC Case Number: M-054689973
NamUs Case Number: 2362

Information Source(s)
NamUs
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Sea Coast Online 11/16/2007
New Hampshire Department of Justice - Cold Case Unit

edited by staff to add media link


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New Hampshire unsolved case file: Disappearance of Rachael Garden​

Mar 22, 2022

The case of a Newton teenager who has been missing for four decades has gone cold.

Rachael Garden was last seen on March 22, 1980, while walking home from Rowe's Corner Market on Pond Street in Newton.

She was supposed to walk to a friend's house to stay the night but has not been seen or heard from since.

At the time of her disappearance, Garden was wearing a two-tone blue ski parka, jeans, a plaid shirt with silver threads and brown lace-up shoes. She was also carrying a dark blue tote bag with the word "Things" printed on it, authorities said.

Investigators believe Garden is dead, but her body has never been found.

Police said that circumstances surrounding her disappearance suggest that foul play was involved.

Police have received numerous tips over the years, including one in 2008 that led crews to search Country Pond. A dive team searched for two days, but found nothing.

Another noteworthy tip was received in 2013. Police at the time said the tip was "just another small piece of information that may or may not fit in the big picture."

Can you help police solve this case? Submit a tip to the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit.
NCMC665523e1.jpg
 
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Updated: 7:06 PM EDT Mar 21, 2023
KC Downey
Digital Media Manager

NEWTON, N.H. —
The case of a Newton teenager who has been missing for more than four decades has gone cold.

  • Last seen: March 22, 1980
  • Age at disappearance: 15
  • Case status: Missing person
  • Authorities suspect foul play was involved
Rachael Garden was last seen on March 22, 1980, while walking home from Rowe's Corner Market on Pond Street in Newton.

She was supposed to walk to a friend's house to stay the night but has not been seen or heard from since.

At the time of her disappearance, Garden was wearing a two-tone blue ski parka, jeans, a plaid shirt with silver threads and brown lace-up shoes. She was also carrying a dark blue tote bag with the word "Things" printed on it, authorities said.

Investigators believe Garden is dead, but her body has never been found.

Police said that circumstances surrounding her disappearance suggest that foul play was involved.
 

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