WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas – After developing a lead in the case of a teen who went missing while on a jog more than 15 years ago, authorities report Friday that they are done searching an area near Liberty Hill for the day after they did not find anything.
Sources told KVUE and Austin American-Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski that law enforcement received a tip about Rachel Cooke’s remains possibly being buried in the Chaparral area of Liberty Hill.
Officials said the information is preliminary and that they are not yet able to confirm details. However, Cooke’s mother, Janet, said she received a phone call from Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody about the possible lead.
"I'm not at liberty to discuss it," Janet said. "I can't give out any information."
During a media briefing late Friday morning, Chody said they are searching an 18-by-20-foot area near the North Fork of the San Gabriel River, and that four cadaver dogs brought to the scene detected the scent of human remains. They were at the site since 9 a.m. Thursday.
Cooke was 19 when she disappeared Jan. 10, 2002 while on a jog in her parents’ Georgetown-area subdivision. KVUE reported in April that Chody was assembling a team of retired investigators to work on cold cases like Cooke’s.
This story will update when -- or if -- law enforcement continue to search for her remains.