Homicide Squad detectives have reappealed for information on the unsolved murder of Rachelle Childs on the 17th anniversary of her death.
The Bargo woman’s body was found in a shallow ditch off Crooked River Road, near Gerroa, on June 8, 2001. She went missing from Bargo Hotel the night before, after leaving her workplace in Camden.
Her car, a dark blue 1978 Hold Commodore, was found at the hotel two days later.
The circumstances surrounding Ms Childs’ death continue to be unknown, despite an exhaustive investigation and coronial inquest.
Nobody has ever been charged in relation to the murder.
The case has now been handed to the Homicide Squad’s Unsolved Homicide Unit.
Homicide Squad commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said the previous investigation will be formally reviewed under the squad’s new unsolved framework.
“The murder of Raechelle Childs shocked the community and the fact that it remains unsolved after 17 years is frustrating for her family and police,” he said.
“We are putting fresh eyes on all our cases and we hope this new process will enable us to provide more outcomes for families, including Rachelle’s.”
The original investigation concluded Ms Childs’ had parked her car at Bargo Hotel about 6.30pm. What happened after that still remains a mystery.
“By all accounts, Rachelle was a vivacious young woman and it’s unlikely she would have gone unnoticed in the pub,” Detective Superintendent Cook said.
“But, to this day, no one can account for her movements that night.
“Rachelle told friends she was meeting someone at the hotel, but didn’t say who, and again, that person has not come forward, nor been identified.
“Police undertook a mass voluntary DNA screening in 2003, a first for a murder investigation in NSW, but it did not provide any further clues as to who killed Rachelle.”
There is still a $200,000 reward on offer for information which leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ms Childs’ death.
Detective Superintendent Cook said investigators were particularly interested in the movement of Ms Childs’ car.
“While it was 17 years ago, her car was distinctive and we believe this could refresh a memory,” he said.
“We have witness reports that the Commodore was seen parked at the hotel at varying times between the Friday evening and Sunday when it was seized, but we don’t believe it was there the entire time.
“Rachelle was a car fanatic and everything was set up in a certain way, but when police located the car it was set up differently, so we believe someone else was behind the wheel at some point.
“We believe her car travelled to the Gerroa area and was driven back to Bargo, so we are very interested in speaking to anyone who was on the road around that time and may have seen her car.
“Further, we know that her body was burnt with petrol, so we are also keen to speak to anyone who may have seen her vehicle at a service station between Bargo and Gerroa that evening.
“Someone out there knows something, so, if you know anything that may help us provide answers to Rachelle’s family, now is the time to free your conscience and speak to us.”
Contact Crime Stoppers with any information on 1800 333 000.