The Disappearance of Rachael Garden

On a spring day in 1980, Rachael Garden was walking from a corner market to a friend's home in Newton, New Hampshire but never arrived. Over 30 years later, she has never been found. Where is Rachael Garden?

Rachael Garden disappeared from a small town in New Hampshire in 1980 | Momma Loves True Crime


Rachael was the oldest of four children and usually ended up babysitting her siblings. The 15 year-old was a freshman in high school and was known for being outspoken and friendly. Rachael was known to be rebellious at times. She was known to occasionally skip school to smoke, drink and hang out with friends in the woods off of Maple Avenue. She was also vocal about not liking her parents rules or having to watch her siblings regularly. 

The night Rachael Garden disappeared, she was carrying her dark blue tote bag with "Things" printed on it into Rowe's corner market. Peter Jewett, the owner of Rowe's, said that she bought a pack of cigarettes before leaving the shop and headed toward Maple Avenue. She never made it to her friend's home or back to her home. The next morning, when her parents had not heard from her became worried. They contacted the police and reported her missing. At this time in our history, many children who disappeared were automatically considered runaways. It was a product of the times. Many teens and children were labeled as runaways when they really may have not been.

Rachael Garden disappeared from a small town in New Hampshire in 1980 | Momma Loves True Crime

The area was extensively searched in the following days after her disappearance. She left behind many personal items and her beloved horse. Her family said that she would never leave her horse unattended. At the time of her disappearance, the town of Newton only had one full-time police officer. It truly was a small town. And we all know in small towns, someone knows something. 

Some time after her disappearance, it was reported that Rachael was seen talking to 3 men in a dark car. These 3 young men were known around town for not being up to any good. She is said to have known the three men. Allegedly, one of the men later confessed in a bar that they killed her that night. This confession prompted authorities to dig along Route 108 but no remains were found. 


Rachael Garden disappeared from a small town in New Hampshire in 1980 | Momma Loves True Crime


In the 1990's an extensive area in the woods was excavated.

Then, in 2008, tips lead authorities to search 2 different ponds using sonar and divers.

In 2013, police received a tip that seemed to have sparked a renewed public interest in the case but just like many tips and leads before... nothing came of it. 

Although they say that the case is still active, none of the tips so far have given any evidence as to what actually happened to Rachael Garden. Although, her disappearance is still possibly voluntary police are not ruling out foul play as a cause either. 

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Rachael Garden, please contact the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office at 603-679-2225 or the Newton Police Department at 603-382-6774.


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