Reachelle Marie Smith
Missing Since: 05/17/06
Missing from Minot, North Dakota
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: 09/10/02
Age at disappearance: 3
Weight: 40 lbs.
Hair Color: Light Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Details of Disappearance
Reachelle was last seen at approximately 1:00 AM on May 17th,2006, at her home in Minot, North Dakota. Rachelle lived with her Aunt who was also her guardian. When Rachelle was found to be missing the next morning, the Aunt’s roommate stated that Reachelle would be spending a few days with his mother, with whom Rachelle had a grandmother-type relationship. On May 22nd, the Aunt called in a missing persons report after she found her roommate missing, along with her van. The roommate was later found dead in the van, by an apparent suicide, at the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Minot. Reachelle was not inside the van. Extensive searches for Reachelle have yielded no clues.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Minot Police Department
Tuesday, May 15th, was a day like any other. That night, after a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a few hugs, Reachelle Smith drifted off to sleep.
“The next morning I woke up, got all my stuff together, got ready for work, went downstairs and she wasn`t there,” says Stephanie Smith, Reachelle`s guardian. “I was like, `Leigh, where is she?` And he said, oh, my mom came and took her this morning. I told you about it the other day.”
This wasn`t a new thing. Leigh Cowen was a trusted friend, almost like part of the family. They agreed Reachelle would be home on Friday. After a few days of being away from her child, Stephanie Smith asked Cowen if she could see her or talk to her. Cowen always had an excuse. His car broke down, they were shopping, she was with his mom. Then towards the end of the week, Cowen and his mother stopped by the house but Reachelle was nowhere to be seen.
Smith continues, “So I ran outside. I looked at his mom and I said, `Where is Reachelle? I want to see my baby.` And she gave me this weird look. I thought she was looking like she was mad, like they had a bad discussion. Leigh said, `Can I have a moment with my mom?` I found out after I reported Reachelle missing that he was telling his mom that he was covering for Samantha. Says Samantha and Reachelle are in South Dakota.”
But Samantha didn`t have Reachelle. Samantha was with friends on her way to Bismarck. After a couple of days of Cowen`s excuses, Reachelle`s family went to the police. An Amber Alert was issued shortly after. The next day, police found Cowen dead in his car near Lake Darling. It was a suicide. To this day, there is still no sign of Reachelle.
“It will never stop. I even imagine the cars with the tinted windows has Reachelle in them. I think about her every day. It is tough. I think it is the hardest thing you could ever go through,” adds Smith.
Reachelle`s family continues to hold onto a hope their little girl who loves puzzles and Dora the Explorer will come home safe.
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.
All information submitted to CUE Center For Missing Persons is confidential.