Details of Disappearance
Rachanda was last seen watching television at her family's residence on the Santiam Pass in Sweet Home, Oregon at 10:00 a.m. on July 10, 1990. She has never been heard from again. Her mother was at work at the time of her disappearance.
Rachanda's stepfather, John Arthur Ackroyd, is the last person known to have seen her. He said he came home during a break from work and asked Rachanda if she wanted to go for a ride with him. She said no and he left. When he returned to the house at approximately 12:45 p.m., Rachanda had vanished. Her mother and stepfather didn't report her missing until the next day.
For years Ackroyd was the prime suspect in Rachanda's case, and her family believed he had murdered her. He didn't seem upset that Rachanda was missing, and police were suspicious because he knew her weight and her bra size but not her birthday. Prior to her disappearance, Rachanda and her brother regularly went to school with bruises, and Rachanda told her friends Ackroyd had caused the injuries. She was afraid to go home from school; as a result, she often spent the night at friends' homes.
Photos of Ackroyd are posted with this case summary. After Rachanda disappeared, he and her mother separated, and her mother moved to California and remarried.
In 1992, Ackroyd was sentenced to five life terms in prison for the unrelated murder of Kaye Jean Turner, who was abducted and murdered in 1978. Ackroyd "found" her body eight months later and was under suspicion in her case for many years, but he wasn't convicted in her death until 1994. Another man was also convicted in Turner's death.
Ackroyd was charged in Rachanda's murder in April 2013. Authorities stated current technology made it possible to test old evidence and come up with the information necessary to make a case against Ackroyd. Physical evidence proved he had been sexually abusing Rachanda prior to her disappearance. He is also a suspect in the deaths of two other young women.
In the autumn of 2013, Ackroyd reached a plea deal with prosecutors in Rachanda's death. He pleaded no contest in her death and agreed not to seek parole for Turner's murder and to decline release even if he became eligible.
The plea deal was immediately sealed as per Ackroyd's request, and it didn't become public until March 2017. By then, Ackroyd was dead; he had died in prison in late 2016. He refused to disclose the location of Rachanda's body and his plea didn't require him to.
Foul play is suspected in Rachanda's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.