GEORGETOWN, Texas — It has been 17 years since Rachel Cooke vanished while jogging in Georgetown.

  • Mother’s home is full of memories
  • Dealing with grief
  • Search continues

Her mother Janet still has hope that she will find answers. Everywhere in her Georgetown home, there are reminders of times before the headlines — when the Cookes were a typical family.

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In her home is a wood board with handprints and the words Rachel Cooke inscribed.

 “All three of them put their little handprints and wrote their name. Rachel did a happy face with a freckle,” said Janet Cooke.

Seventeen years after Rachel Cooke disappeared, the paint on the board is dry. The handprints are frozen in time.

“At first when they gave it to me, I put it in the closet. I couldn’t look at it. Too many memories. Then I thought, no, this needs to be out,” said Janet Cooke.

Still, Rachel Cooke’s memory and Rachel Cooke herself are two different things.

“Sometimes you get to where Rachel becomes these things you know now. And that’s not Rachel, you know? Rachel is going to the mall and bending her master card until it can’t bend anymore,” said Janet Cooke.

Investigators continue to search for clues, keeping Janet Cooke’s hopes alive.

“Somebody out there knows something. There’s no doubt in my mind. It’s just a matter of them knowing they need to come forward with that information,” said Janet Cooke.

As the search continues, grief doesn’t take a break and it doesn't pick sides.

“Why? I don’t know and may never know, but it’s time to put things right side up,” said Janet Cooke.