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April 14, 2013

Police hope to solve Newton cold case

NEWTON — It’s been 33 years since 15-year-old Rachael Garden suddenly disappeared, but authorities still aren’t giving up the search.

Although there’s almost no hope she will be found alive, Kingston police Chief Donald Briggs said police hope to solve the crime and are asking the public to contact them if they have any information.

There was no information received to prompt police to resume the search for Garden, he said.

“It’s a cold case we’re trying to solve and to bring closure to the family,” he said.

Briggs said a $10,000 reward is offered to anyone who helps solve the case.

“We’ll be looking for any new leads we can get,” he said. “We believe she is still in Southern New Hampshire.”

Kingston and Newton police have teamed up with state authorities, including the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit, over the years to investigate the teenager’s mysterious disappearance.

Garden, who would be 48 now, disappeared the evening of March 21, 1980, after she bought a pack of cigarettes and gum at Rowe’s Corner Market on Route 108. She was supposed to meet friends at a home on Main Street, but was never seen again.

A student at Sanborn Regional High and the eldest of four children, the petite teen was wearing jeans, brown tied shoes, a two-tone blue ski jacket and carrying a tote bag with the word “Things” on its side.

She had light brown, shoulder-length hair and hazel eyes, stood 5 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 102 pounds.

She was described by people who knew her as headstrong and rebellious at times, fun-seeking and outspoken. Some people thought she was kidnapped, abducted or murdered, while others hoped she had run away.

Newton police Chief Lawrence Streeter said police receive a new tip in the case about every six months and it’s investigated, but nothing has ever come from any of them.

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