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How new forensic system could play vital role for Williamson County in Rachel Cooke case

After the possible discovery of blood in a car that is believed linked to the disappearance of Georgetown woman, Rachel Cooke, the Williamson County Sheriff's Office's new forensic technology may be able to open more doors for clues.

GEORGETOWN, Texas — There are new details surrounding the 16-year-old cold case of missing Georgetown woman, Rachel Cooke, after investigators with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office say the car linked to her disappearance tested positive for the possible presence of blood.

Authorities with the sheriff's office said Wednesday the possible blood was found on the passenger floorboard and on an item on the passenger side of a 1998 Pontiac Trans Am. The car was recovered in the Dallas area in April of this year. Sheriff Robert Chody said the vehicle is tied to three to four persons of interest in the cold case.

Detective Jason Cox is the case agent in the Rachel Cooke investigation. Cox said that he and other investigators are hopeful that the department's newly acquired forensic DNA MVAC system will reveal new details into the investigation since it can pick up traces of decades-old DNA from evidence.

"The vehicle is also going to be checked using our new MVAC system, so any touch DNA from anyone sitting in the vehicle, basically coming in contact with any part of the vehicle will be picked up by that MVAC system and that will also be sent for processing at a forensic lab," Cox said. "It's a more thorough system, and it'll open doors for us that previously weren't open. As technology catches up to the case, it makes it a lot more interesting for us because it keeps it moving forward and gives us leads that we would have not had prior."

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Cox said that he receives tips weekly regarding the case from across not only the state but the nation, coming from as far as California and Florida.

"If there's something that you've been holding back and haven't been coming forward with, then you need to come forward with it. The families, they need that -- that closure. I understand that situations change, lifestyles change, people they grow -- perhaps -- you have children of your own now. I would ask that you put yourself in that position and imagine that it's your child that's missing for this long and how you would feel if you were that family in that position."

Further testing is being conducted at this time.

If you have information regarding Cooke's location, you are asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online here.

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