New Approach in Search for Missing Henry Co. Mother
By Lori Barrow
Paris, Tenn.- According to Chris Williams, Director of Operations for Southeast Canine Search and Rescue (SEK9SAR), a team of Criminology students from Towson University, from Towson, MD are coming to West Tennessee to continue working the case of local missing mother, Rachel Conger. Williams stated, “We have been working on and off behind the scenes looking for Rachel for over a year.” Conger has been missing from her Como, TN home for five years.
Williams stated that Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew has been very helpful in the planning of the search and that Captain Damon Lowe has been active in coordinating with the team prior to the search. On Friday, Sheriff Monte Belew will speak to the group at Bethel University, followed by a phone conference with Amber Simmons, Conger’s now 18-year-old daughter. Rachel Conger’s mother, Louise Younger, will also be in attendance. Simmons said from her Georgia home, “I appreciate everything that all of these people are doing. I am happy they are coming in and searching again. I hope this opens up new possibilities in the case and I hope that they are able to find some answers.”
The Towson students chose Rachel as someone they felt could use the help due to the limited exposure that her case has received. Williams said, “Everyone deserves resolution. That includes Rachel and her family. We feel that although all this time has passed, Rachel can still be found. She will only be found if she is searched for. ” The field search will be Saturday and Sunday at Land Between the Lakes.
Williams emphasized that although Southeast Canine Search and Rescue is directing the search that it is a multistate, multiagency endeavor. The searchers will include Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue, Jodi Powers Search and Rescue from KY, Smyrna Rescue, and many volunteers working alongside the students. They are not requesting volunteer searchers at this time, however, Williams stated volunteers may be needed at a later date. Williams stated, “We will be hosting more searches over the next several months for Rachel if she is not found. The public will be allowed to participate. They can sign up at www.southeastk9sar.org in the registration link type: Rachel Conger.”
Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue is a Non-Profit Organization that provides specially trained Search and Rescue Personnel, K-9 Units, and equipment to most of the United States. SEK9SAR hold awards and recognition from the TN State Senate and House, Presidential Volunteer Service Awards from President Obama, The National Points of Light from Former President George W. Bush, and awards from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. They currently have K-9 Teams based in McEwen, TN, Dickson, TN, Clarksville, TN, Smyrna, TN and Madisonville, KY.
Websites and Contact information: http://www.southeastk9sar.org/, www.bringrachelhome.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/BringRachelHome
Paris, TN- How would you feel if five years went by and you didn’t know what happened to a missing loved one? As of 2011, the National Center for Crime Information estimates that there are over 85,000 missing persons in the United States. That’s 85,000 with families; moms, dads, siblings, even children. When you’re talking about numbers in the tens of thousands, it’s easy to overlook the fact that these are people. People with names, hobbies, interests. People whose lives were cut short for some reason or another. Let me tell you about one of those people.
Rachel Conger was a pretty, young mother. She was devoted to her then 13-year-old daughter, and her daughter described her as being her best friend. They both had an intense love for their dachshunds, Mia and Lynnia. Rachel had plans for her life. She ended her turbulent marriage and she and her daughter moved out to start fresh. I can’t drive through Como without looking at their house and wondering what might have been.
I put off writing this because I was trying to retain some type of objectivity, but I find that hard to do. At one point in time, Rachel was my sister-in-law and I respected her as a mother and we were at a place where we were friends. I hate it for Amber and the rest of their family that they lost her so young and in such a tragic manner.
On this anniversary, I want this day to be about Rachel and her family. She was such a sweet woman and deserves to be remembered for the wonderful person that she was. Please keep her daughter, her mother, and the rest of her family in your thoughts and prayers today and always.
"When those we love have left this earth, we still can feel them near. We'll see a picture, hear a song, and it’s just like they are here. And when we call upon our faith, when we believe and trust, we know the ones we care about are always close to us."-Constance Parker Graham