No remains found during Williamson County search

Authorities spent Friday morning digging through land in a Liberty Hill neighborhood searching for remains, after a tip that missing woman Rachel Cooke may have been buried there.

Rachel was last seen more than 15 years ago. The then 19-year-old was running in Georgetown when she disappeared without a trace.

A small piece of land off Chaparral Drive in Liberty Hill didn't hold the evidence investigators were searching for Friday.

"If this is not a location, whether it's Rachel Cooke or any other person that we are trying to locate, then we can check this one off the box and move on," said Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.

Last month, someone reported a tip to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office that led them to believe missing woman Rachel Cooke may have been buried there.

"I won't go into specifics of what they said about the crime. They just showed the location and said, ‘Hey, this is where I believe the body could be at,’" Chody said.
               
The mystery of what happened to Cooke has frustrated authorities for the last 15 years.

Cooke was staying with her parents in the Northlake subdivision in Georgetown during winter break from Mesa Junior College in San Diego.

On January 10, 2002, Rachel was home alone when her parents believe she went for a run around Lake Georgetown. Someone reported seeing her just 200 yards from her parents' home between 11 and 11:30 that morning. The avid cross country runner was never seen again.

14 miles from her last known location, the FBI and Williamson County Sheriff's detectives worked to uncover answers.

"We are taking this serious folks, we want to make sure this is not anybody, Rachel Cooke or any of the other cases," said Chody.

Friday, the sheriff’s office said four cadaver dogs hit on the land in question, but no remains were located.

"I urge everyone to understand, anyone can say anything during an initial investigation, but we as a law enforcement office have the duty to check it out," Chody said.

It's not the first time the Cooke family has anxiously awaited results from authorities.

Every time human remains are found near Georgetown, the Cookes hold their breath waiting for DNA results, but, since Rachel disappeared, massive search efforts by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, Texas EquuSearch, and even Rachel’s friends and family have turned up no clues.

In 2006, a prisoner confessed to the crime but reneged in court and pleaded not guilty.

Anyone with information about Cooke’s disappearance is asked to call the WCSO at 512-943-1300.

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