Select It Sunday: Rachael Garden

This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by HennyLee: Rachael Elizabeth Garden, who disappeared from Newton, New Hampshire on March 22, 1980, at the age of fifteen. Newton is, curiously, just 35 miles from the town where Laureen Rahn, another petite brown-haired girl only a year and a half younger than Rachael, disappeared a month later. This may just be a coincidence though.

As for Rachael, she sounds like a pretty typical teenager of that time, a bit rebellious but not overly so, fond of her pet horse. The three guys she was last seen talking to had bad reputations. One of them later served time for rape and one them (not sure if it’s the same one) reportedly confessed to killing Rachael, but his statements were not verified.

There was a recent article about the case but it doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. The police believe Rachael met with foul play, if only because of the time that has passed since her disappearance — 35 years now. If she’s still alive she’d be 50 years old today.

Aftercare for families of the no-longer-missing?

An interesting idea out of Wales: they’ve launched a pilot scheme to provide social support for families where a person had gone missing but then returned home alive:

“We have recognised that when a person comes back there can be a whole new set of problems and issues that can arise from that.

“In some circumstances, it can be like having a stranger in the house.”

I am reminded of the comment I’d copied into this blog entry, where the woman said her brother’s disappearance continued to traumatize the family even after his return, they couldn’t reconnect and the family never forgave him for leaving.

On the face of it, this seems like a good idea. I do however wish the article was more specific about just what kind of social support will be provided. Family therapy? Individual therapy for the not-missing-anymore person and those relatives that want it? Maybe job training and education, if it’s someone who ran away and was living on the streets or whatever?