Rachel Marie Mellon

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Top Three Rows and Bottom Three From Left: Rachel, circa 1996;
Bottom Far Right: Age-progression to age 27 (circa 2009)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 31, 1996 from Bolingbrook, Illinois
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 13, 1982
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'0, 62 - 80 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Asian female. Black hair, hazel eyes. Rachel has a mole on the upper left side of her lip, and her ears are pierced. She may use the last name Skemp, possibly in conjuction with the name Mellon, as in "Mellon-Skemp" or "Mellon Skemp," and some agencies refer to her as Rachel Mellon-Skemp. She may appear to be of Italian or Greek descent. Rachel's hair was cut short at the time of her disappearance, but she often wore it shoulder-length; both haircuts are seen in the photographs above.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A pink sweater or sweatshirt, yellow sweatpants and red house slippers.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Rachel was a seventh-grader at Ward Middle School in 1996. On January 31 of that year, she stayed home from school due to a sore throat. She was last seen taking a nap in her bedroom at her family's residence in Bolingbrook, Illinois sometime during the afternoon. Rachel was wrapped in a blue blanket at the time her stepfather, Vincent Mellon, last saw her. Vincent stated he and Rachel played video games together, then he she fell asleep and he left the house to take the family's German Shepherd for a walk at 2:30 p.m. He left the door unlocked while he was gone.

    Vincent stated the dog slipped off its leash to chase a rabbit and as a a result, he was gone longer than he intended to be. He didn't return to the house until half an hour later. Authorities maintain that Vincent never checked on Rachel when he returned home, but he stated that he did indeed notice his stepdaughter had disappeared after he finished the walk. Rachel was apparently reported missing to investigators at approximately 5:00 p.m. when her mother, Amy Mellon, and some other family members arrived home. Rachel has never been heard from again. Two pillows and the blue blanket she was wrapped in are also missing. Rachel's winter clothes, shoes, and coat were not taken, even though the windchill was twenty degrees below zero outside that day. Her purse and Walkman were also left behind at her residence. There were no indications of forced entry.

    An extensive search of the surrounding area turned up no signs of Rachel. Authorities stated she could not have survived long if she was outside and exposed to the elements. Initially it was thought that some of Rachel's relatives had taken her out of the state, but that theory has since been discarded. Her bank account has not been touched since her disappearance, and there was no evidence that she's purchased plane or bus tickets to go anywhere.

    Vincent gave blood, semen, saliva and hair samples to authorities in 2000 when Rachel's case was reopened and a grand jury was convened to investigate. Authorities obtained a warrant to get the samples. Amy stated that she believed Rachel was alive and other persons knew her whereabouts. The Mellon family's attorneys said that the case was being re-investigated due to interest from the television program America's Most Wanted, which wanted to run a segment regarding Rachel's disappearance.

    Authorities have stated that they believe foul play was involved in Rachel's disappearance. Vincent has been considered a possible suspect in her case for several years. He had scratches on his body after her disappearance; he said he was injured while repairing his car. He has a long record for domestic violence and he failed lie detector tests in connection with Rachel's disappearance. The grand jury investigation ended in 2000 without any indictments handed down, but prosecutors were considering another attempt at closing Rachel's disappearance in 2001. Rachel ran away and stayed at a friend's home over a year before her 1996 disappearance. She voluntarily returned home shortly after her departure. Authorities do not believe that Rachel ran away in 1996. She kept a diary which police read after her disappearance. In one entry, written months before she vanished, she wrote that Vincent had kissed her and touched her inappropriately.

    Rachel's father, Jeff Skemp, was living in Dallas, Texas at the time of her disappearance. He had separated from Amy when Rachel was a toddler. Skemp stated that the day Rachel vanished, she telephoned his mother. He said this was out of the ordinary for Rachel, as she was not allowed to talk to her grandmother. Skemp keeps his phone number listed in case Rachel tries to contact him, but he believes she met with foul play. He held a memorial service for her in 2006.

    Rachel was an honors student at the time of her disappearance and her favorite school subject was science. She was interested in recycling and nature. Amy and Vincent moved away from the area sometime after 1996. Rachel's disappearance remains unsolved and no arrests have been made in connection with her case, but her disappearance is being investigated as a homicide.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Bolingbrook Police Department


    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    NBC-5 Chicago
    The Polly Klaas Foundation
    Bolingbrook Police Department
    The Daily Herald
    Texas Department Of Public Safety
    Remembering Rachel Mellon
    The Child Seek Network
    ABC7 Chicago
    The Pioneer Press
    The Chicago Tribune
    MySpace Page for Rachel Mellon
    CyberPages International Inc.
    Romeoville Patch


    Updated 10 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated February 28, 2016; picture added.

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