New tip received in 1980 missing teen case

Published On: Aug 20 2013 07:06:55 AM HST

It has been more than 30 years since a 15-year-old from Newton disappeared, but police said they are continuing to receive tips in the case and are continuing their investigation.

Investigators believe that Rachael Garden is dead, but her body has never been found. There have been many tips over the years, and several law enforcement agencies have been determined to solve the mystery and provide closure for her family.

Newton Police Chief Larry Streeter said he recently received a new tip in the case, which he passed along to the State Police Cold Case Unit.

"It isn't enough information that you can take it and run with it," he said. "It's just another small piece of information that may or may not fit in the big picture."

Because it's an open investigation, Streeter said he couldn't comment on details.

"I think the investigation is very much alive, and I think she is part of the chemistry of the community, and you just never forget," he said. "It's a small town. You never forget things like that."

Rowe's Corner Market on Route 108 in Newton looks much the same as it did when Garden walked in to buy cigarettes and gum on the night of March 22, 1980.

The 15-year-old was supposed to walk to a friend's house for the night, but she was never seen again.

"It's been investigated through the years as a missing person, a possible homicide, and it has been an active investigation all along," Streeter said.

Police have followed some leads, but no one has been charged. Her family moved away, her father has died, but the push for closure is ongoing.

"We have had people that have had premonitions where we have looked through the woods and had dogs look," Streeter said.

Several years ago, there was a search of Country Pond, and a $10,000 reward was offered.

Garden would be 49 this December.


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