IL RACHEL MARIE MELLON-SKEMP: Missing from Bolingbrook, IL - 31 Jan 1996 - Age 13

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The Doe Network:
Case File 1592DFIL
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Age-progressed to 27 years (circa 2010); Right: Age-progressed to 30 years

Rachel Marie Mellon-Skemp
Missing since January 31, 1996 from Bolingbrook, Will County, Illinois
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics
Date Of Birth: October 13, 1982
Age at Time of Disappearance: 13 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'0"; 70-75 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Asian female. Black hair (short at time of disappearance bu often had shoulder length hair); hazel eyes.
Marks, Scars: A small mole on the upper left side of her lip. Both ears pierced.
Clothing: Yellow sweatpants, a pink top, red house-slippers. A blue blanket was missing.
Dentals: Available.
DNA: In CODIS.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Mellon was last seen at her residence in Bolingbrook, Illinois on January 31, 1996.
She was home ill that day with her stepfather.
Her stepfather walked the family dog while Rachel went to her bedroom. Upon her stepfather's return, he did not check on Rachel.
Rachel's disappearance was discovered by her family at approximately 17:00.
Although a few articles of her clothing are missing, Rachel's purse, coat and winter clothes were still at her home.

Investigators
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Bolingbrook Police Department (Illinois)
Missing Persons Unit
Detective Mark Revis
630-226-8620
Email

Agency Case Number: 96-2670
NCMEC #: NCMC814151
NCIC Number: M916161162
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Child Protection Education of America, Inc.
Polly Klaas Foundation
Remembering Rachel Marie Mellon Skemp
Bolingbrook Police Department
NamUs MP #2397
NAMPN

edited by staff to add media link
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Akoya

Well-known member
Age Progressed to 27 years old by NCMEC.

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Akoya

Well-known member
http://prev.dailyherald.com/story/?id=226896

Her name may not be as well known as Lisa Stebic or Stacy Peterson, but the similarly unexplained disappearance of a young Bolingbrook girl more than 12 years ago remains a haunting mystery.

Rachel Marie Mellon was 13 when she vanished Jan. 31, 1996. That bitter-cold morning, the bubbly seventh-grader stayed home from school sick with a flu bug, resting in a pink sweat shirt, yellow sweat pants and slippers.

That evening, she was gone.

Despite exhaustive search efforts on land, in the air and under water, no clues have emerged revealing her whereabouts.

State lawmakers on Friday sent to the governor's desk legislation that may affect the possible prosecution of murder suspects in cases such as that of Rachel, Stebic and Peterson in which authorities say they strongly suspect foul play but are limited by a lack of physical evidence without a body.

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow pushed for the measure that would allow a judge at a pretrial hearing in a murder case to determine whether so-called hearsay evidence - testimony or documents that quote someone secondhand who is not in court - may be admitted at trial.

Prosecutors would have to prove in a pretrial hearing those statements are reliable and that the defendant's wrongdoing made the witness unavailable to testify. The legislation is less broad but similar to an earlier failed effort that grew after 16-year-old Erin Justice was killed in March 2004, less than a month after accusing her stepfather of raping her in Naperville. He now is on death row.

Glasgow is encouraging area police departments to review unsolved murder cases to see if the new proposal would apply.

Rachel Mellon's father, Jeff Skemp, said he long ago gave up hope that his hazel-eyed child is still alive. Still, he is buoyed by the legislation and hopes it may some day give him some measure of closure.

"To me," he said, "it would be a wonderful blessing if anything ever happened."

A life interrupted

Rachel would be 26 in October.

Skemp pictures his only child as a college graduate who fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher.

Then, he is jolted back into a reality in which he harbors no such illusions.

"I haven't had any hope that she's alive for a long time," he said. "There's been no sign of her in 12 years, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her."

Before she vanished, Rachel lived with her mother, Amy, and stepfather, Vince Mellon, who helped raise her since she was 3. They have two other children.

Skemp lived in Texas when Rachel disappeared, but he moved back to Illinois that same year to help find her.

From the onset, police have focused much of their investigation on the last person to have reported seeing Rachel alive - her stepfather.

They said Vince Mellon told them he stayed home with Rachel while between jobs. Mellon said the two played Nintendo before he ventured into wind chills of almost 20 below zero about 2:30 p.m. to walk the family's German shepherd, Duke, while Rachel napped.

Police said Mellon told them Duke slipped off his leash while chasing a rabbit. He reported returning home about 30 minutes later but didn't notice Rachel missing.

The family notified police later that evening. Authorities found no signs of forced entry to their home. Only a blue blanket and two pillows were missing.

Rachel's coat, shoes and her purse weren't taken.

The athletic, 5-foot-2-inch, 78-pound girl seemingly vanished in broad daylight.

Police monitored her bank account. Not even a penny was touched. A ransom note never came. There have been no phone calls from her.

Detectives could not find any witnesses who saw Vince Mellon walking the dog that day. He also had some scratches on his body, police said, which Mellon said happened while working on his car.

And then there's Rachel's journal, which authorities found tucked underneath her bed, in which an entry penned a couple of months before her disappearance alleges her stepfather inappropriately touched and kissed her.

Vince Mellon has a criminal history that includes convictions for drunken driving, resisting arrest, battery and domestic battery, according to Will County court records.

But despite numerous interviews, lie-detector tests, saliva and DNA samples taken, phone taps and the convening of a Will County grand jury in 2000, Vince Mellon never has been charged with Rachel's disappearance.

He maintains his innocence. He and Amy Mellon still are married.

"We've been through an awful lot," 41-year-old Vince Mellon said during a brief telephone interview from his home in Tennessee. "We appreciate you keeping Rachel's name out there and to keep the story going in the news, but we have nothing to say. They (the police) pretty much put us through hell and high water."

Reliable hearsay?

Lisa Stebic vanished April 30, 2007, just before her 38th birthday in Plainfield.

Stacy Peterson was 23 when she was reported missing Oct. 28 in Bolingbrook.

Both cases produced a media frenzy, with friends and family telling reporters each woman wanted a divorce and felt threatened by their husbands, neither of whom has been charged with harming his wife.

State Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi sponsored the legislation allowing certain hearsay testimony, which could include journal entries or alleged threats, to be heard in a murder trial.

Critics argue the Joliet Democrat's proposal is contrary to the 6th Amendment, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront his or her accuser in court. Earlier this summer, in a California murder case in which a man was accused of killing his girlfriend, the U.S. Supreme Court again reiterated hearsay testimony may be admitted into trial only if it is proven the accused's wrongdoing is the reason the witness is unavailable to testify. Still, Wilhelmi insisted his law is narrowly focused and includes several safeguards.

"There are going to be a lot of cases that this could affect," the senator said. "We need to make sure our laws are adequate to deal with these acts of violence. We need to make sure juries hear this type of evidence."

His bill passed July 10. Lawmakers sent it Friday to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his consideration. Glasgow and Wilhelmi said they believe the governor will soon sign it into law. A spokesman for Blagojevich said Monday he is reviewing it.

Attorney Joel Brodsky, who represents Stacy Peterson's husband, Drew, said he doubts the legislation will affect his case and questioned whether it would withstand muster when reviewed by a higher court.

Ironically, Drew Peterson worked on the Rachel Mellon case during his tenure as a Bolingbrook police officer.

"It's really an emotional law rather than a well-thought-out law," Brodsky said. "I don't think it's a wise law. It has the potential to cause wrongful convictions, which Illinois has a history of, because it's going to allow in a lot of unreliable stuff."

Recalling Rachel

She has never been found, but police aren't giving up nor is the case closed.

Initially, police and the FBI searched for Rachel using helicopters, dogs, horses, dive teams, all-terrain vehicles, ground canvasses and thermal imaging.

Detectives traveled from Washington, D.C., to Montana and Dallas to chase possible leads. They even worked with Philippine national police, who circulated Rachel's photo long ago to see if she might have run away to her mother's birthplace.

"It haunts me," said Terry Kernc, a retired Bolingbrook police lieutenant who long investigated Rachel's disappearance. "I thought when I retired, I could forget, but I can't. People don't just disappear. I look at it as a failure because we never found Rachel, and no one ever got arrested. Rachel deserves better."

Bolingbrook police detective Mark Revis is the investigation's current case agent. He was the original evidence technician more than 12 years ago.

He called the hearsay legislation an "interesting avenue" that police plan to pursue. He said tips still slowly come in and searches, as recent as last year, are ongoing.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also has taken an interest in the case; a 24-year private detective, Cindy Georgantas, involved from the start, said the search for Rachel "never stops."

Volunteers such as Anne Bielby, who did not know Rachel but lived nearby, maintain the Web site www.rachelfind.com to keep her name out there, advertise other Chicago-area missing person cases, and link police with outside resources to help with searches.

Through the years, trees have been planted, time capsules buried, rewards offered, memorial services held and babies named in Rachel's honor.

"It warms my soul," Jeff Skemp said, later adding: "I'm glad I'm a believer in God because, ultimately, justice is waiting."
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/n ... story.html''

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Stacy Peterson's sister attended the memorial.

As he talked to the dozens of people gathered Sunday to remember his daughter, Jeff Skemp talked of the bond they all shared.

Like many of the others gathered, Skemp knew what it was like to have a missing child. His daughter, Rachel Mellon, disappeared on January 31, 1996. Many gathered Sunday at Rachel's former school in Bolingbrook to mark the 20th anniversary of her disappearance and to remember the hundreds of other missing people from Illinois.

"We're a family," Skemp said. "We're all going through the same thing ... the hardest part is not having an answer."

Rachel Mellon had stayed home from school with a sore throat the day she disappeared. Her step-father, Vince Mellon, told police Rachel was taking a nap when he left their home in the 600 block of Melissa Drive to walk the dog. One of her siblings was the first to notice she was missing later that frigid day.

Vince Mellon and Rachel's mother, Amy Mellon, were subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in 2000. Investigators took hair, blood and saliva samples from Vince Mellon, the last person to have seen her. No one has ever been charged in her disappearance.

"It is the biggest disappointment and failure of my life," Terry Kernc said tearfully as she talked at the memorial. Though Kernc, who for a time served as the lead detective on Mellon's case, is retired from the Bolingbrook Police Department but said she still thinks of Mellon and her disappearance.

Though 20 years have passed since her disappearance, Bolingbrook police said the investigation continues and is active. Lt. Carter Larry, a spokesman for the Bolingbrook Police Department, said investigators recently met with the Will County State's Attorney's Office to review Mellon's case and other open cases.

"Somebody knows what happened to Rachel," said Kernc, who now serves as mayor in Diamond. "For the sake of the family, they need to come forward."

Friends and relatives of others missing from Illinois also remembered their own loved ones at Sunday's memorial. Among them were the sister of Stacy Peterson, the sister of a missing Will County Sheriff's deputy, and a private investigator hired by the family of two girls missing from Chicago.

"My hope is that everyone is found and can be given the appropriate resting place they deserve," said Sue Olsen, whose son, Bradley, went missing in 2007. Her son, who lived in Maple Park, was 26 when he disappeared from the DeKalb area.

Olsen and others shared hugs and words of support following the memorial.

"We all hurt," said Jody Walsh. Her sister, Robin Abrams, was a Will County Sheriff's deputy when she went missing in October of 1990.

But, she said, being around others who have experienced the same thing can be "very healing."

"It helps because it shows she's not forgotten, and we're not alone with what we're going through," said Carrie Scaglione, who was Rachel's best friend and helped organize Sunday's memorial.

Many also said events like Sunday's memorial help to keep their loved ones names and faces out in the public, raising awareness for the missing. The 210 names read at Sunday's event are all listed on www.namus.gov, a national registry of missing and unidentified people. Information about Rachel's case also can be found on www.rachelfind.com.

"There's many missing, too many missing and too many unanswered questions," Walsh said. "We want them home and we'll never give up."
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Rachel was a seventh-grader at Ward Middle School in 1996. On January 31 of that year, she stayed home from school due to a sore throat. She was last seen taking a nap in her bedroom at her family's residence in Bolingbrook, Illinois sometime during the afternoon. Rachel was wrapped in a blue blanket at the time her stepfather, Vince Mellon, last saw her. Vince left the house to take the family's dog for a walk at 2:30 p.m., while Rachel was asleep. He left the door unlocked while he was gone.

Authorities maintain that Vince never checked on Rachel when he returned home half an hour later, but he stated that he did indeed notice his stepdaughter had disappeared after he finished the walk. Rachel was apparently reported missing to investigators at approximately 5:00 p.m. when her mother, Amy Mellon, and some other family members arrived home. Rachel has never been heard from again. The blanket she was wrapped in is also missing. However Rachel's winter clothes, shoes, and coat were not taken, even though it was below zero outside that day. Her purse and Walkman were left behind at her residence.

Vince has been considered a possible suspect in her case for several years. He has a long record for domestic violence and he failed lie detector tests in connection with Rachel's disappearance. The grand jury investigation ended in 2000 without any indictments handed down, but prosecutors were considering another attempt at closing Rachel's disappearance in 2001.

Vince Mellon told them he stayed home with Rachel while between jobs. Mellon said the two played Nintendo before he ventured into wind chills of almost 20 below zero about 2:30 p.m. to walk the family's German shepherd, Duke, while Rachel napped. Police said Mellon told them Duke slipped off his leash while chasing a rabbit. He reported returning home about 30 minutes later but didn't notice Rachel missing.

Drew Peterson worked on the Rachel Mellon case during his tenure as a Bolingbrook police officer.



612 Melissa Dr., Bolingbrook, IL 60440

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Akoya

Well-known member
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/01...s ... r-closure/
VIDEO: at link.

20 Years Later, Friend Of Missing Rachel Mellon Still Hoping For Closure

Rachel Mellon was thirteen years old when she simply vanished from her south suburban home. That was twenty years ago this week. The case is still considered active by police.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov talked to one of Mellon’s best friends about her hope for closure.


Carrie Scaglione wistfully flips through scrapbooks she made shortly after her best friend Rachel Mellon disappeared.


“We would walk around the entire town of Bolingbrook passing out flyers,” she said.


That was twenty years ago. But Scaglione has kept the books with her, hoping, someday, she’d know what happened to her 13 year old friend.


She says to her, closure would be, “knowing what happened…being able to put her soul at rest.”


Bolingbrook police and family said Mellon was home sick on January 31, 1996. Her stepdad, Vince Mellon, was home too. He told police he went out to walk their dog for half an hour and left Rachel sleeping in her room. Her mother Amy noticed her missing later.


Back then, Scaglione says she didn’t believe Rachel ran away. She still believes that now.


“I honestly don’t think that Rachel ran away,” she said.


Bolingbrook police don’t, either. They say Rachel’s case is still an open and active missing person’s case but suspect foul play. Lieutenant Larry Carter says stepdad Vince Mellon was once the main suspect.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Rachel was last seen wearing yellow sweatpants, a pink top, red house slippers and was wrapped in a blue blanket. She disappeared without her shoes, purse, or coat on a day that was Twenty degrees below zero.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://abc7chicago.com/news/bolingbrook ... d/1554183/

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The disappearance of Rachel Mellon from her family's home in suburban Bolingbrook remains one of the Chicago area's most baffling crime mysteries (WLS)

Thursday, October 13, 2016 06:45PM
BOLINGBROOK, Ill. (WLS) -- The disappearance of Rachel Mellon from her family's home in suburban Bolingbrook in 1991 remains one of the Chicago area's most baffling crime mysteries.

The I-Team has been investigating this story for more than 20 years.

Jeff Skemp hasn't seen his daughter since the day she disappeared in 1991, when she was a happy and popular 13-year-old girl.

Rachel Mellon would have celebrated her 34th birthday on Thursday. Instead, her father's agony continues.

Even with a new $10,000 reward from Bolingbrook Crimestoppers, there is little to celebrate for those who loved Rachel.

"The first few years were really rough," said Skemp, Rachel's father.

Years since haven't been much easier on the father.

Skemp remembers the bitterly cold day when his little girl stayed home sick from school.

Her stepfather, Vincent Mellon, was the only other person in the house that day.

The seventh grader's stepfather told police that he went out for a half hour to walk the family dog and that hours later when he went to check on Rachel in her bedroom, she was gone. There was no hard evidence as to what happened.

For years a website commemorating Rachel stated: "Someone knows something."

From the beginning on the investigation, police considered Vince Mellon to be that someone.

Mellon failed key parts of a lie detector exam, was subjected to countless police inquiries, several grand jury investigations and interviews with the I-Team.

"I didn't really look around the neighborhood as far as thinking you know something might be suspicious. So, I didn't know what to say other than I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary at that point," said Vincent Mellon in a 1996 I-Team interview.

Skemp, who was always skeptical of Mellon's explanation, has suffered through the decades of agony.

"I hold out very little hope that Rachel is still alive. But I still, I still hold out maybe a half a percent. I still occasionally daydream about that day that Rachel would come home. Even though realistically I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen," said Skemp.

Phone numbers that the I-Team has for Vince Mellon and the missing girl's mother Amy are all disconnected.

They could not be reached on Thursday.

Bolingbrook police consider the case still open and active.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
Hosey: Missing for another year without answers

Four years after Bolingbrook seventh-grader Rachel Mellon vanished while she was supposed to be in her bedroom recuperating from an illness, prosecutors pulled her mother and father into a grand jury.

It lasted all day into the night and by the time it was over, Rachel's mother, Amy Mellon, had spent two hours answering questions. The stepfather, Vince Mellon, was in and out so fast it’s hard to imagine he answered any.

The Bolingbrook police had claimed there were “new developments” in Rachel’s disappearance, which was 23 years ago next week. Her mother’s attorney at the time, John Schrock, wasn’t buying it.

“I don’t have a clue what they’re getting at,” Schrock said. Neither did Vince Mellon’s lawyer, Gene Ognibene.

“We’re not aware of anything whatsoever,” Ognibene said.



The police clearly had their suspicions about her stepfather, as just before he went before the grand jury, they got a search warrant for his blood, saliva and hair, claiming it was "evidence of first-degree murder.

The warrant didn’t lead to anything either. A couple years later, Vince Mellon told how he felt like they were picking on him.

"They went out of their way to get me and we still have no promising leads," he complained. He went on to say, “Everybody's out to get me."

They never did get him though. Not for first-degree murder or anything else having to do with his stepdaughter.



That was nearly 11 years ago and Vince Mellon’s still free. He’s thought to be living somewhere in Tennessee, presumably with his wife and maybe his children who are not missing, and another year will pass next week without anyone knowing what happened to Rachel Mellon.

Her stepfather, the man whose hair and body fluid police said were evidence of first-degree murder, and who has a warrant out for his arrest, remains beyond the reach of the law. But maybe this year will be different. Who knows? He might have a few too many and pull into the path of a station wagon on his way out of a strip club parking lot again.

https://www.theherald-news.com/lists/20 ... ml?page=17
 

Akoya

Well-known member
https://www.theherald-news.com/lists/20 ... /index.xml

Hosey: Missing for another year without answers

By JOSEPH HOSEY
Jan. 25, 2019

Four years after Bolingbrook seventh-grader Rachel Mellon vanished while she was supposed to be in her bedroom recuperating from an illness, prosecutors pulled her mother and father into a grand jury.

It lasted all day into the night and by the time it was over, Rachel's mother, Amy Mellon, had spent two hours answering questions. The stepfather, Vince Mellon, was in and out so fast it’s hard to imagine he answered any.

The Bolingbrook police had claimed there were “new developments” in Rachel’s disappearance, which was 23 years ago next week. Her mother’s attorney at the time, John Schrock, wasn’t buying it.

“I don’t have a clue what they’re getting at,” Schrock said. Neither did Vince Mellon’s lawyer, Gene Ognibene. “We’re not aware of anything whatsoever,” Ognibene said.

Whatever the new developments were that put Vince and Amy Mellon in front of a grand jury, they must not have amounted to much. Rachel, who was 13 when she was last seen, remains missing and no one has been charged with doing anything to make her disappear.

The police clearly had their suspicions about her stepfather, as just before he went before the grand jury, they got a search warrant for his blood, saliva and hair, claiming it was "evidence of first-degree murder."

The warrant didn’t lead to anything either. A couple years later, Vince Mellon told how he felt like they were picking on him.

"They went out of their way to get me and we still have no promising leads," he complained. He went on to say, “Everybody's out to get me." They never did get him though. Not for first-degree murder or anything else having to do with his stepdaughter.

Vince Mellon did have a few brushes with the law over the years though, one of which started with him pulling out of the parking lot of the old Crazy Rock strip club in Romeoville and into the path of Dave Wilson of Joliet, who was heading home after working a second job teaching in Chicago.

“I was going about the speed limit, maybe 40, when all of a sudden this Suzuki-Jeep knockoff slid into my lane,” Wilson said of that night in October 2005. "He came out of the Crazy Rock parking lot and I T-boned him."

Wilson said he was uninjured and he got out to check on the other driver. He said Vince Mellon didn’t look too great. “He was kind of loaded too,” Wilson said. “I don’t want to say he was catatonic, but he was kind of out of it.”

As it happened, Mellon was kind of loaded. He was charged with DUI and booked into the Will County jail. A year or so later he pleaded guilty. “It just turned out I did (State’s Attorney) Jimmy Glasgow’s work for him,” Wilson said. “I put Vince Mellon in jail.”
 

Akoya

Well-known member
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/10/12/ ... -20-years/

$10K Reward Offered For Bolingbrook Woman Missing For 20 Years
October 12, 2016 4:18 PM

(CBS) — A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl who went missing 20 years ago from southwest suburban Bolingbrook.

On Jan. 31, 1996, Rachel Marie Melon disappeared from her bedroom after staying home sick from school with a sore throat, according to a statement from Crime Stoppers of Bolingbrook. She would have turned 34 years old Thursday.

Her stepfather told police she went to take a nap and was discovered missing by a younger sibling about an hour later, according to the statement.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (630) 378-4772. Tips can also be submitted through the web to bolingbrookcrimestoppers.org or texted to BPD, plus the message, to 274637. Callers may remain anonymous.
 

Sllywbbt32

Well-known member
If I was Rachel's mother and there was even a whisper of my husband being involved I would have been divorced so quick. She has stayed with a suspect(sounds like the main, or only suspect) even though his statements like walking the dog in minus 20 degree weather are ludicrous in my opinion. It just absolutely baffles me.
 

Guess Who

Well-known member
http://prev.dailyherald.com/story/?id=226896

Her name may not be as well known as Lisa Stebic or Stacy Peterson, but the similarly unexplained disappearance of a young Bolingbrook girl more than 12 years ago remains a haunting mystery.

Rachel Marie Mellon was 13 when she vanished Jan. 31, 1996. That bitter-cold morning, the bubbly seventh-grader stayed home from school sick with a flu bug, resting in a pink sweat shirt, yellow sweat pants and slippers.

That evening, she was gone.

Despite exhaustive search efforts on land, in the air and under water, no clues have emerged revealing her whereabouts.

State lawmakers on Friday sent to the governor's desk legislation that may affect the possible prosecution of murder suspects in cases such as that of Rachel, Stebic and Peterson in which authorities say they strongly suspect foul play but are limited by a lack of physical evidence without a body.

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow pushed for the measure that would allow a judge at a pretrial hearing in a murder case to determine whether so-called hearsay evidence - testimony or documents that quote someone secondhand who is not in court - may be admitted at trial.

Prosecutors would have to prove in a pretrial hearing those statements are reliable and that the defendant's wrongdoing made the witness unavailable to testify. The legislation is less broad but similar to an earlier failed effort that grew after 16-year-old Erin Justice was killed in March 2004, less than a month after accusing her stepfather of raping her in Naperville. He now is on death row.

Glasgow is encouraging area police departments to review unsolved murder cases to see if the new proposal would apply.

Rachel Mellon's father, Jeff Skemp, said he long ago gave up hope that his hazel-eyed child is still alive. Still, he is buoyed by the legislation and hopes it may some day give him some measure of closure.

"To me," he said, "it would be a wonderful blessing if anything ever happened."

A life interrupted

Rachel would be 26 in October.

Skemp pictures his only child as a college graduate who fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher.

Then, he is jolted back into a reality in which he harbors no such illusions.

"I haven't had any hope that she's alive for a long time," he said. "There's been no sign of her in 12 years, but there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about her."

Before she vanished, Rachel lived with her mother, Amy, and stepfather, Vince Mellon, who helped raise her since she was 3. They have two other children.

Skemp lived in Texas when Rachel disappeared, but he moved back to Illinois that same year to help find her.

From the onset, police have focused much of their investigation on the last person to have reported seeing Rachel alive - her stepfather.

They said Vince Mellon told them he stayed home with Rachel while between jobs. Mellon said the two played Nintendo before he ventured into wind chills of almost 20 below zero about 2:30 p.m. to walk the family's German shepherd, Duke, while Rachel napped.

Police said Mellon told them Duke slipped off his leash while chasing a rabbit. He reported returning home about 30 minutes later but didn't notice Rachel missing.

The family notified police later that evening. Authorities found no signs of forced entry to their home. Only a blue blanket and two pillows were missing.

Rachel's coat, shoes and her purse weren't taken.

The athletic, 5-foot-2-inch, 78-pound girl seemingly vanished in broad daylight.

Police monitored her bank account. Not even a penny was touched. A ransom note never came. There have been no phone calls from her.

Detectives could not find any witnesses who saw Vince Mellon walking the dog that day. He also had some scratches on his body, police said, which Mellon said happened while working on his car.

And then there's Rachel's journal, which authorities found tucked underneath her bed, in which an entry penned a couple of months before her disappearance alleges her stepfather inappropriately touched and kissed her.

Vince Mellon has a criminal history that includes convictions for drunken driving, resisting arrest, battery and domestic battery, according to Will County court records.

But despite numerous interviews, lie-detector tests, saliva and DNA samples taken, phone taps and the convening of a Will County grand jury in 2000, Vince Mellon never has been charged with Rachel's disappearance.

He maintains his innocence. He and Amy Mellon still are married.

"We've been through an awful lot," 41-year-old Vince Mellon said during a brief telephone interview from his home in Tennessee. "We appreciate you keeping Rachel's name out there and to keep the story going in the news, but we have nothing to say. They (the police) pretty much put us through hell and high water."

Reliable hearsay?

Lisa Stebic vanished April 30, 2007, just before her 38th birthday in Plainfield.

Stacy Peterson was 23 when she was reported missing Oct. 28 in Bolingbrook.

Both cases produced a media frenzy, with friends and family telling reporters each woman wanted a divorce and felt threatened by their husbands, neither of whom has been charged with harming his wife.

State Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi sponsored the legislation allowing certain hearsay testimony, which could include journal entries or alleged threats, to be heard in a murder trial.

Critics argue the Joliet Democrat's proposal is contrary to the 6th Amendment, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront his or her accuser in court. Earlier this summer, in a California murder case in which a man was accused of killing his girlfriend, the U.S. Supreme Court again reiterated hearsay testimony may be admitted into trial only if it is proven the accused's wrongdoing is the reason the witness is unavailable to testify. Still, Wilhelmi insisted his law is narrowly focused and includes several safeguards.

"There are going to be a lot of cases that this could affect," the senator said. "We need to make sure our laws are adequate to deal with these acts of violence. We need to make sure juries hear this type of evidence."

His bill passed July 10. Lawmakers sent it Friday to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his consideration. Glasgow and Wilhelmi said they believe the governor will soon sign it into law. A spokesman for Blagojevich said Monday he is reviewing it.

Attorney Joel Brodsky, who represents Stacy Peterson's husband, Drew, said he doubts the legislation will affect his case and questioned whether it would withstand muster when reviewed by a higher court.

Ironically, Drew Peterson worked on the Rachel Mellon case during his tenure as a Bolingbrook police officer.

"It's really an emotional law rather than a well-thought-out law," Brodsky said. "I don't think it's a wise law. It has the potential to cause wrongful convictions, which Illinois has a history of, because it's going to allow in a lot of unreliable stuff."

Recalling Rachel

She has never been found, but police aren't giving up nor is the case closed.

Initially, police and the FBI searched for Rachel using helicopters, dogs, horses, dive teams, all-terrain vehicles, ground canvasses and thermal imaging.

Detectives traveled from Washington, D.C., to Montana and Dallas to chase possible leads. They even worked with Philippine national police, who circulated Rachel's photo long ago to see if she might have run away to her mother's birthplace.

"It haunts me," said Terry Kernc, a retired Bolingbrook police lieutenant who long investigated Rachel's disappearance. "I thought when I retired, I could forget, but I can't. People don't just disappear. I look at it as a failure because we never found Rachel, and no one ever got arrested. Rachel deserves better."

Bolingbrook police detective Mark Revis is the investigation's current case agent. He was the original evidence technician more than 12 years ago.

He called the hearsay legislation an "interesting avenue" that police plan to pursue. He said tips still slowly come in and searches, as recent as last year, are ongoing.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also has taken an interest in the case; a 24-year private detective, Cindy Georgantas, involved from the start, said the search for Rachel "never stops."

Volunteers such as Anne Bielby, who did not know Rachel but lived nearby, maintain the Web site www.rachelfind.com to keep her name out there, advertise other Chicago-area missing person cases, and link police with outside resources to help with searches.

Through the years, trees have been planted, time capsules buried, rewards offered, memorial services held and babies named in Rachel's honor.

"It warms my soul," Jeff Skemp said, later adding: "I'm glad I'm a believer in God because, ultimately, justice is waiting."

From the article.
Ironically, Drew Peterson worked on the Rachel Mellon case during his tenure as a Bolingbrook police officer.

Nuf said.
 

Akoya

Well-known member
If I was Rachel's mother and there was even a whisper of my husband being involved I would have been divorced so quick. She has stayed with a suspect(sounds like the main, or only suspect) even though his statements like walking the dog in minus 20 degree weather are ludicrous in my opinion. It just absolutely baffles me.


I have always wondered if both of them were involved with Rachel's disappearance.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
What in the he77 is this woman doing still married to this loser? He likely killed her daughter, probably raped her and dumped her somewhere.

Even if she is unsure, he T-boned someone coming from a strip club drunk. What a winner.

I try so hard not to be judgmental without fact and evidence but find myself being judge and jury in this one. Of course he did it.

Her personal journal SHOULD be evidence, let the jury decide whether to believe it.

Evil creep--and her mother still with her daughter's murderer or likely is based on the above?

Some days these cases really get to me. This is one of them.

It is 17 below zero here today and no one I know goes out in it unless they have to, particularly to walk a dog for half an hour. The dogs do not want to go nor do people. The dog wants to run outside and p** as quickly as possible and get back in the warm house.
 

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