January 31, 1996
By Rachel's Best Friend
Rachel Marie Mellon Skemp
"Thump" was the sound of the volleyball bouncing off my wrist as the game ended. The B J Ward Wildcats had just won another game, and I was pretty excited. I was in a really good mood and was thinking that nothing could go wrong. It seems as though my thoughts were wrong. This was just the beginning to a long, horrible, mysterious night in the winter of 1996.
I walked into my house tracking in snow and saw my whole family sitting at the kitchen table. Suddenly, my stepfather glanced at me and said, "Rachel's Mom just called and she sounded worried. You might want to call her back right away." My heart became a racehorse beating at the speed of light. I quickly picked up the phone and called my best friend's house hoping she'd pick up the phone and everything would be okay. Maybe I was just overreacting.
"Hello." Rachel's mother answered in a trembling voice. I quietly replied hello back and continued to ask what was wrong. That's when she told me that Rachel was missing. I began to feel very eerie and teary inside. I was like one flower lost in a lonely field of weeds. I asked every question possible about what happened and then immediately hung up the phone. That's when I called all my other friends in a panic to see if they had seen Rachel or if they had any clues. But no one knew anything.
Later that night, I headed out searching with a group of friends. We trudged around Bolingbrook in the wet, cold snow, calling Rachel's name and looking in every place possible. But when no one answered our calls and she was no where in sight, the tears began to roll down everyone's cheeks. It seemed like we must have walked 500 miles that night looking for a very close friend; yet nothing was found.
This is a horrible experience that I have personal experience that I am still going through. My best friend has been missing since January 31st, 1996 and there hasn't been many clues or leads. I have learned that friends are very important to a person and you shouldn't take advantage of the time you have with them. They could be here one day and gone the next. I have also dealt with this tragedy by taking it day by day.
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