A car that was recovered earlier this year and linked to a Texas woman who disappeared in 2002 while running near her parents’ house has tested positive for the “possible presence of blood,” officials said Wednesday.
“Further testing is being conducted at this time,” the sheriff’s office said. “The full details will not be released in order to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
The Pontiac sedan was recovered in Dallas in April, and officials hoped the vehicle would help solve the case of Rachel Cooke, who vanished 16 years ago.
“This is one piece of evidence that may or may not break the case,” Sheriff Robert Chody told FOX7 at the time. “But let me also be clear that this is a significant piece of evidence from our cold case unit that they located. Regardless of the outcome there is a lot of work to be accomplished.”
In the months since the car was discovered, FBI forensic analysts have since spent hours collecting possible evidence. Chody has said that the sports car found in Dallas was tied to three to four persons of interest.
In January 2002, then 19-year-old Cooke was visiting her parents in Georgetown when she went for a run.
Witnesses reported seeing her 200 yards from her parents’ home between that morning, but she hasn’t been seen since. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers performed massive searches throughout the city and state, coming up empty each time.
In 2006, a prisoner confessed to the crime but reneged in court pleading not guilty, according to FOX7.
In 2017, the FBI joined the sheriff’s office and increased the reward money to $100,000 in hopes of gathering additional information on the case. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-225-5324.