Sheriff Chody confirms dig related to Rachel Cooke, moving to new lead

Williamson County
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GEORGETOWN, TEXAS (KXAN) — A mysterious dig in Georgetown that begin on Monday, is connected to the cold case investigation of Rachel Cooke’s disappearance confirms Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.

Sheriff Chody said the dig was initiated after his office received a tip, and is part of a past criminal investigation that presents no danger to the public. According to a tweet sent Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Chody confirmed that the dig was in relation to the disappearance of Rachel Cooke.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office could not confirm if anything was found or not during the excavation, but they are moving onto new leads. According to the Sheriff’s Office PIO, investigators are going over leads from the past and following up on anything they believe they could have overlooked during the initial investigation.

The excavation happened just south of Farm to Market Road 971, along the eastern edge or State Highway 130.

Janet Cooke, whose daughter Rachel went missing in Georgetown nearly 17 years ago, said the sheriff reached out to her personally to let her know an excavation has started. Cooke said Chody didn’t elaborate on who or what his deputies are looking for.

“I was called by Sheriff Chody, and was told that there was a search in progress, and for me not to worry, and I didn’t need to go over there,” Cooke said. “They thought it was just going to be a one day, but I think they’ve extended it now.”

As of last year, Williamson County had at least 11 cold cases.

The field where searchers are digging is part of 44 acres of farmland purchased by Troop Durgin Wright Properties LP in 2009. 

Owner David Troop told KXAN that he received a call from the sheriff’s office a few weeks ago asking for permission to excavate. He granted it, but said he hadn’t realized deputies had already started. 

As of Tuesday, the sheriff’s office hasn’t arrested anyone in connection to the dig. 

Cooke said she still holds out hope her daughter’s body will be found. She said advances in technology make her all the more optimistic that deputies will eventually solve her case.

“They’re turning over every stone that needs to be turned over, and they’re going back and re-looking at things with new eyes, and it could be that that’s just what it’s going to take,” she said.

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