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xx Rachel Mellon - January 31, 1996 - IL
« Thread started on: Oct 19th, 2004, 12:18pm »

Rachel stayed home from school on January 31, 1996 due to an illness. She was last seen taking a nap in her bedroom at her family's residence in Bolingbrook, Illinois sometime during the afternoon. Rachel was wearing yellow sweatpants, a pink shirt and red slippers at the time her stepfather, Vince Mellon, last saw her. She was also wrapped in a blue blanket. Vince left the house to take the family's dog for a walk in the afternoon while Rachel was asleep.
Authorities maintain that Vince 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 from work. Rachel has never been heard from again.
Vince 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. 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. Vince has been considered a possible suspect in her case for several years. 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. Her disappearance remains unsolved and no arrests have been made in connection with her case.

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xx Missing Girl Remembered After 8 Years
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19th, 2004, 12:19pm »

October 13, 2003 Rachel Mellon disappeared from her Bolingbrook home more than seven years ago, but her friends and family continue to hang on to hope.
Mellon's body-- nor her suspected killer-have ever been found. On Monday, she would have turned 21. She hasn't been seen since January 31, 1996. Her case is being handled by the Missing Persons Division of the Bolingbrook Police Department.

"I miss Rachel's laughter," said Carrie Johnson

Carrie Johnson was Rachel's best friend. On Money, in the park across from where Rachel lived, Carrie and some other people close to Rachel gathered around a tree that was planted in the missing girl's memory.

"I really just wanted to wish her a happy 21st birthday. I think about where she would be right now," said Johnson.

Members of an organization called Rachel Find used the occasion of her 21st birthday to videotape friends and relatives for a memory CD they are making so that until Rachel's mystery is solved, she won't be forgotten.

"As a mother, I found it hard to believe that a child could just disappear off the face of the earth and not be found. And I know that if my child had disappeared I would want people to keep looking," said Anne Bieldy

Police believe one person holds the key to Rachel's disappearance. Her stepfather, Vincent Mellon, was the last person to see Rachel alive. Rachel had stayed home from school sick on January 31, 1996. Vincent Mellon told police that on that day he went for a walk with the family dog and returned a half hour later to find the girl was missing.

Vincent Mellon has a long history of domestic violence. He has been questioned repeatedly by police and a grand jury, has submitted bodily fluids to detectives and was found to have been dishonest in a lie detector test. However, Vincent Mellon has never been charged in the case. Today, the original case officer vowed not to give up on a solution.

"I just want to let you know that we're still looking for you. We follow up on every lead. And I still think that some day we'll have the answer. And we'll know exactly what happened to you," said Lt. Teresa Briley.

ABC7 News attempted to reach Vincent Mellon and Rachel's mother, Amy, but both recently moved from their Joliet home. Their telephone has been disconnected.

Anyone with information is asked to call Bolingbrook police at 630-226-0600.
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/news/101303_ns_mellon.html

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xx Sitting With An Angel 10-1-04
« Reply #2 on: Oct 27th, 2004, 06:28am »

When Jeff Skemp (father of missing teen Rachel Mellon) was buying groceries last year at Cub Foods, his grandson noticed a picture on a bench near the checkout line.


&ldquoMy grandson was three at the time and has never met Rachel and he doesn&rsquot really understand what happened to her. He pulled on my shirt and said &lsquoPapa, there&rsquos my Auntie!&rsquo And there she was watching us pack our groceries. It reduced me to tears,&rdquo Skemp said.


&ldquoIt made me realize that so many people still care about my daughter after all these years,&rdquo Skemp said. Skemp is very grateful to the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation for helping to keep his daughter Rachel&rsquos case information before the public.


Rachel Marie Mellon has been missing from Bolingbrook, Illinois for over eight years. Last year, Rachel became part of the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation&rsquos &ldquoSitting With An Angel&rdquo Program. Craig and Pam Akers started the foundation over a year ago when their son Shawn Hornbeck disappeared without a trace.


&ldquoRachel, like my son Shawn, seems to have simply vanished off the face of the earth. We know that to simply vanish without a trace is not possible,&rdquo Craig Akers said. &ldquoSomeone is responsible for her disappearance. Someone has information about what happened to Rachel. We appeal to anyone that has any information whatsoever about Rachel&rsquos disappearance to please come forward and help us bring this Angel home.&rdquo


As part of the foundation&rsquos &ldquoSitting With An Angel&rdquo program, advertisers sponsor benches including both advertising and information about missing children. Benches are placed inside or in front of high traffic business establishments, such as grocery stores, so that as many as people as possible can see the information.


Illinois benches containing Rachel&rsquos case information and picture are already in place in Pontiac, Downers Grove, Springfield, and Joliet. More are scheduled for placement in the near future. Last Thursday, Skemp spoke at the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation&rsquos Bench Dedication for Rachel in front of the Cub Foods located at 1212 75th Street in Downers Grove.
&ldquoSomebody out there knows something and that&rsquos why keeping her name out there is important. Someday, someone&rsquos going to remember something, someone&rsquos going to have a conscience, and hopefully, we can bring Rachel home

Complete article:
http://www.rachelfind.com/SittingWithAnAngel.htm
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xx Charges Filed Against Parents Of Missing Teen
« Reply #3 on: Nov 23rd, 2004, 1:25pm »

CHICAGO -- The mother and stepfather of a missing Bolingbrook girl were facing criminal charges Monday.

Vincent Mellon, 38, is charged with domestic battery. He and his wife, Amy Mellon, were arrested Saturday when a neighbor called police about a family fight.

Images: Mellon Mystery Unsolved

Amy Mellon's daughter, Rachel, was 13 years old when she disappeared from her family's home in 1996.

Vincent was the last person to report seeing her the day she went missing.

No charges have ever been filed in connection with Rachel's disappearance.
http://www.nbc5.com/news/3941170/detail.html?z=dp&dpswid=2265994&dppid=65193
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xx For Rachel on Jan. 31, 2005
« Reply #4 on: Jan 30th, 2005, 11:08pm »

Thinking of Rachel today on this 9 year anniversary since her disappearance. May answers be found soon for her whereabouts. I know that she is loved and missed by many.

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xx Re: Rachel Mellon - January 31, 1996 - IL
« Reply #5 on: Feb 1st, 2005, 09:58am »

CLARENCE HENRY IS STILL MISSING!

On the ninth anniversary of Rachel Mellon's disappearance, instead of holding a vigil, Rachelfind is seeking publicity for missing endangered eighty-five year old Clarence Milton Henry. Henry disappeared in Morris, Illinois on August 18th, 2004. Morris Police Chief Doug Hayse wants the public's help looking for Clarence Henry. Last seen at the Golden Flame restaurant near the intersection of Illinois Route 47 and Highway 80, Henry and his red 1992 four-door Ford Crown Victoria have not been seen since he left the restaurant in the rain at approximately 10 p.m.

"Clarence's disappearance is very odd," said Chief Hayse. "He is so well-known and not finding him or his vehicle really bothers me. We are interested in all information about Clarence Henry." The Coast Guard is continuing to help with air searches, according to Hayse. In addition, the $1,000 reward for information leading to Clarence Henry's location has recently been raised to $5,000.

For more information, including Clarence Henry's missing flyer and an interview with Henry's daughter, please read the attached Rachelfind Newsletter. If you cannot open the newsletter attachment, it is also posted at www.rachelfind.com. Rachelfind Volunteers have produced a public service announcement for Henry that will be distributed to public access channels. A 20-second windows media (,wmv) file of the PSA is posted on the website.

Thank you for Remembering Rachel and all missing persons
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xx Bones Not Mellon's
« Reply #6 on: May 9th, 2005, 1:35pm »

CHICAGO -- Forensic experts examining human bones discovered last week on the Far South Side have concluded the remains do not belong to Rachel Mellon, a Bolingbrook teen missing since 1996, authorities said Wednesday.

Since the bones were discovered in an industrial area near 130th Street and Indiana Avenue last Thursday morning, attention has centered on whether they could belong to one of the missing Bradley sisters, Diamond and Tionda, who vanished from their South Side home in 2001.

But investigators are comparing the remains to many missing children, said a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office. Dental records were used to rule out the 13-year-old Mellon, whose disappearance also remains a mystery.

Unlike Mellon, there are no dental records for the Bradley sisters, so investigators are waiting for results of DNA testing, which may not be available for another week, the official said.

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Clyde Snow continued to assist in the examination Wednesday.

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xx Happy Birthday to Rachel on 10-13-05
« Reply #7 on: Oct 13th, 2005, 9:33pm »

Happy Birthday to Rachel Mellon on 10-13-05. Hoping for answers soon. She's still missing but not forgotten.

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xx Father Seeks Closure On Daughter's Disappearance
« Reply #8 on: Jan 27th, 2006, 7:53pm »

Alita Guillen
ReportingT


CBS) BOLINGBROOK, Ill. Rachel Mellon has been missing for 10 years, and still, nobody knows what happened to her.

No body was ever found after the 13-year-old girl disappeared from her Bolingbrook home, and no suspects were ever arrested.

On Friday, Rachel's father, Jeff Skemp, sat down with CBS 2's Alita Guillen in a last-ditch effort to put an end to this mystery.

As Skemp remembers a child filled with love and laughter, reality comes over him.

"It's just so sad," Skemp said.

Rachel was Skemp's only child, and now he is ready to say goodbye. On Saturday evening, he will hold a memorial service for his daughter.

"I think it's time for all of us to move on a little bit," Skemp said. "I know that's what Rachel would want us to do."

Rachel was last seen on Jan. 31, 1996. She had been home sick from school when she vanished.

When asked what he thought happened to her, Skemp said, "I think she was murdered." And police agree.

Rachel's stepfather was the last one to see her alive. Police said he was a person of interest, but he has never been charged in the case.

Skemp admits the years since Rachel's disappearance have not been easy. He said he has many regrets, but cherishes what he has: "appreciating the love that you have in your life because you don't know when it can be gone."

Bolingbrook police say although leads have slowed down, Rachel's case is still open. They are working with the FBI, and they are optimistic that they will find out what happened to Rachel.

The memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Maywood.

http://www.angelsmissing.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=600&pid=12016&st=0&#entry12016
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xx The disappearance of Rachel Mellon
« Reply #9 on: Jan 31st, 2006, 05:20am »


The disappearance of Rachel Mellon


1996


Jan. 31: Rachel Mellon, 13, vanishes into thin air. She had called off from school with a sore throat and was alone in the house with her stepfather, Vince Mellon. No one realized the girl was missing until Rachel's mother, Amy Mellon, returned from work that evening. Vince Mellon later told police he last saw Rachel about 2:30 p.m., as he was on his way out to take a walk with the family dog, Duke. The dog chased a rabbit, according to Vince Mellon, and was returned by a real estate appraiser who was in the area on business. In the time between taking the dog out and Amy Mellon's return home from work, Vince Mellon says he did not look in on Rachel in the bedroom, where he presumed she would be.
Feb. 4: Bolingbrook's deputy police chief, Mike Calcagno, says there is no evidence of foul play in Rachel's disappearance and that she is considered a missing person.

Feb. 6: One week into the case, police are mystified.
"We don't know. We haven't a clue," Calcagno says.

Feb. 8: Rachel's information makes it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Feb. 22: While insisting there is no evidence of foul play, police still have no idea what happened to Rachel. "We're not leaning one way or the other," Calcagno says. "There's no indication of where she went or why. This is still a missing person case."

July 8: A psychic on the "Jerry Springer Show" claims that Rachel is dead. Amy appears on the show along with the psychic, who specializes in searching for missing children.

Oct. 13: Rachel's 14th birthday.

Oct. 19: Rachel's father Jeff Skemp, the ex-husband of Amy Mellon returns to the area from Dallas. Skemp reportedly hopes to "stir things up."



1997


Jan. 9: Amy Mellon says she will freeze out Bolingbrook police because they think her second husband killed her daughter. "I found out that they made up their minds that Vince is a suspect and that's that," Amy Mellon says.
Jan. 30: Skemp's father, Ken Skemp, says his son in recent months has received at least two letters demanding he return his daughter and threatening his life if he doesn't. Skemp the elder believes the letters may be a media ploy perpetrated by a Chicago television news reporter.

Jan. 31: Rachel is missing for one year.

July 31: Cynthia Georgantas, a Lockport private detective hired by family members less than two weeks after Rachel disappeared, is afraid no one is talking about Rachel and that could mean she is forgotten.

Aug. 29: Police Cmdr. Richard Darrah, point man in the investigation, says police are working with FBI agents to pursue new leads generated by new information developed in the case. They have decided, however, that they for now cannot make the new information public.

Sept. 3: Skemp opens a curious, anonymous card that offers vague clues to where Rachel's body may be. The letter, printed in green marker on the blank side of a store-bought sympathy card, reads in part: "I keep 'receiving' a vision of a shoe now burned within walking distance of a park or place where she liked to go meet people her own age, her friends. I think it is or was buried there. The police investigation is not going rightly now but the prevailing opinion they have is correct. Your daughter is very happy, praising God and thanking him in heaven. I know Earthly passing is difficult to take, but know she is exquisitely happy."



1998


Jan. 31: About 30 of Rachel's friends and relatives gathered at the Annerino Center to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.


1999


Jan. 31: The third anniversary of Rachel's disappearance passes.
Oct. 13: Rachel would celebrate her 17th birthday. Skemp urges the community to keep up posters of his daughter, to continue searching for her and to come forward with any information available about the case.



2000


Jan. 27: Police reveal that a grand jury has heard testimony for nearly two months regarding Rachel's disappearance and officials now believe the teen may have been the victim of a homicide. "Police officials state the probability exists that foul play occurred in Rachel's disappearance," said police Cmdr. Keith George.
Jan. 28: Detectives question Vince Mellon for about nine hours. They also serve a search warrant ordering him to surrender samples of his blood, body hair and saliva. The samples are evidence in a first-degree murder investigation, according to the warrant.

Jan. 31: The fourth anniversary of Rachel's disappearance comes and goes.

Feb. 1: Network executives review Rachel's case for airing on the FOX-TV favorite "America's Most Wanted," but Bolingbrook police pull the plug on immediate plans for the program.

Feb. 2: Amy Mellon endures a two-hour grand jury grilling, then emerges and waits for her husband to make a cursory appearance before the same panel. "I think it's pretty clear they're focusing on one person," says Amy Mellon's attorney, John Schrock.

Feb. 4: Amy Mellon blames police for failing to take her daughter's disappearance seriously four years ago and told of "stakeouts" she has conducted in Indiana and Texas while searching for her missing girl. "I did everything I could to try to find Rachel," Amy Mellon says.

Feb. 9: Amy Mellon sues Bolingbrook police to recover items she says were taken from her Joliet home during an illegal search on Jan. 28. "It comes down to, 'Do we still have a Constitution?'" Schrock says.

Feb. 16: Skemp appears before a grand jury.

Feb. 17: A private eye in Amy Mellon's employ discovers that a telephone in the family's home has been tapped and Schrock wants to know who has had their ears on his client's conversations.

March 10: A Joliet patrolman watching while Bolingbrook police carted Vince Mellon away from his Calla Drive home Jan. 28 later witnessed plainclothes officers carrying a black duffel bag enter the house, it was revealed today. "He can't identify who was who because they were plainclothes," Schrock says.

March 27: A judge orders Bolingbrook police to answer questions about other law enforcement agencies that might have been involved in searching the Mellons' home.

April 4: Forcing a Bolingbrook cop to answer questions in Amy Mellon's civil lawsuit might tip off crooks to a secret weapon in the law's war on crime, Assistant State's Attorney Phil Mock argues.

April 17: Bolingbrook police must reveal the top secret "technique" used in the investigation, but the testimony will remain under wraps.

May 19: Judge Thomas Ewert tosses Amy Mellon's lawsuit after discovery reveals that Bolingbrook police did not unlawfully enter her home.

June 7: Bolingbrook police send a letter to Schrock inquiring into the whereabouts of a published $5,000 reward for information on Rachel's whereabouts.



2001


Jan. 31: The fifth anniversary of Rachel's disappearance passes with far less fanfare than the last.
April 11: Amy Mellon reports to police that she believes her daughter called her Joliet home at least three times one evening last month.



2003


Jan. 31: Skemp marks the seventh anniversary of his daughter's disappearance by signing up volunteers to look for her in the spring.
July 24: Vince Mellon is jailed and charged with slapping around his 15-year-old son.

July 28: Vince Mellon gets someone to post the $200 cash he needs to get out of jail.



2004


Nov. 20: Vince Mellon is jailed on domestic battery charges. He is accused of roughing up Amy Mellon and their son. Vince Mellon also is arrested on three warrants for failing to appear in court, and Amy Mellon is arrested on a county warrant of her own.


2005


Feb. 1: Amy and Vince Mellon both are jailed on theft charges for stiffing a Joliet motel out of a night's stay.
July 30: Rachel's half-brother, Jason Mellon, 17, is arrested in connection with smashing out the windshield of a Shorewood couple's car.

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/city/4_1_1_JO29_MELLON_S3.htm
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xx Reward set in '96 case of missing girl
« Reply #10 on: Aug 18th, 2006, 09:51am »

BOLINGBROOK -- A private investigator announced Thursday his agency is offering a $30,000 reward for information in the decade-old case of a missing 13-year-old Bolingbrook girl.

The reward is for information that leads directly to the whereabouts and recovery of Rachel Mellon or results in the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for her disappearance, said detective James Miller, owner of Chicago-based Investigative Services Agency Inc.
We have an indication that some people might come forward at this point in time," Miller said.

Rachel was reported missing on Jan. 31, 1996. She had stayed home from middle school because of a sore throat. Her stepfather told police she went to take a nap and was discovered missing by a younger sibling about an hour later.

Anyone with information about Rachel's disappearance is asked to call Bolingbrook police at 630-226-8620, Bolingbrook Crime Stoppers at 630-378-4772 or the Investigative Services Agency at 312-755-9700. Callers to Crime Stoppers or the agency may remain anonymous.

http://tinyurl.com/rnoct
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xx Stepfather of missing girl jailed for violating ba
« Reply #11 on: Sep 28th, 2006, 3:19pm »

By Hal Dardick

A man once eyed by authorities investigating the 1996 disappearance of his 13-year-old stepdaughter was sentenced Wednesday to 200 days in Will County Jail for violating the sentencing terms of an unrelated domestic battery conviction.

Vince Mellon was ordered by Will County Circuit Court Judge J. Jeffrey Allen to complete domestic violence counseling and undergo 75 hours of treatment for alcohol abuse.
Mellon also was told to have "no offensive contact" with his wife and one of their two children.

Mellon, 39, was the last person to see Rachel Mellon, of Bolingbrook, alive on Jan. 31, 1996. He told police Rachel had been taking a nap for about an hour when a younger sibling discovered she was missing.

Nearly four years after her disappearance, investigators took blood, hair and saliva samples from Vince Mellon. He and his wife were later subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, but no charges were brought.

Rachel remains missing and a private detective agency earlier this month offered a $30,000 reward in the case.

In December 2004, Vince Mellon, now of Joliet, pleaded guilty to domestic battery for hitting his wife, who is Rachel's mother, and one of their children. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and was ordered to undergo anger management and domestic violence counseling.

He was supposed to have psychological evaluations, which in turn triggered the requirement he undergo 75 hours of alcohol abuse counseling.

That conviction came 11 months after Mellon pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of battery in another case involving one of his children. In the earlier case, he was sentenced to two years' supervision.

Mellon completed only 15 of 26 domestic violence counseling classes and did not start the alcohol abuse counseling required for the December 2004 conviction, Assistant State's Atty. Debra Joyce Wendling told the judge.

Paul Napolski, Mellon's attorney, said Mellon is working to complete the requirements.

"It's just a matter of giving this individual more time to get these things done," Napolski said.

"I don't see how putting this individual in the Will County detention facility is going to help him rehabilitate himself."

But Wendling said: "He has had a lot of time. ... He was not doing what he was court ordered to do in the time allotted."

Last year Mellon pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft and was ordered to serve 12 months of conditional discharge and pay $309 in restitution. He also has a 2005 drunken driving case pending.
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xx Missing girl's stepdad guilty of DUI
« Reply #12 on: Feb 16th, 2007, 09:47am »

By Hal Dardick

A man who was investigated in the still-unsolved 1996 disappearance of his 13-year-old stepdaughter pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to a year of conditional discharge, a type of probation with less stringent reporting requirements.

The blood-alcohol level of Vince Mellon, 40, of the 600 block of Derbyshire Lane, Bolingbrook, exceeded the legal limit when his vehicle hit another on Sept. 29, 2005, near Illinois Highway 53 and McKool Avenue in Romeoville, according to a court statement.

Mellon, who was convicted in another drunken driving case in 1994, also was ordered to pay $500 to the driver of the other car to cover his insurance deductible. And he agreed to attend a victim-impact program and continue alcohol counseling.

"He is now getting the help he needs for the addiction he is suffering from," said defense attorney Paul Napolski.

Mellon is expected back in court Wednesday for a hearing on satisfying court-ordered conditions in an unrelated case. Last August, he was sentenced to 200 days in the Will County Jail for failing to comply with the terms of a sentence for a domestic-battery conviction.

He has served the jail sentence, but he also was ordered to undergo 75 hours of treatment for alcohol abuse and to complete domestic-violence counseling classes.

In the domestic-battery case, Mellon pleaded guilty in December 2004 to hitting his wife and one of their children. He served a 60-day jail sentence, but failed to complete required domestic violence counseling classes and start alcohol-abuse counseling, prosecutors said.

Eleven months before the December 2004 plea, Mellon was convicted of reduced charges of battery in which one of his children was listed as a victim. He was sentenced to two years of supervision.

Mellon was the last person to report seeing Rachel Mellon of Bolingbrook alive Jan. 31, 1996. Nearly four years later, investigators took blood, hair and saliva samples from Vince Mellon. He and his wife were later subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, but no charges were brought.

http://tinyurl.com/35zkn3
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xx Drew recalls Mellon case 12 years later
« Reply #13 on: Feb 3rd, 2008, 6:46pm »

January 29, 2008
By JOE HOSEY Staff Writer


BOLINGBROOK -- Drew Peterson worked a lot of cases over the course of his 29-year career with the local police department.

Most of them he enjoys talking about, and he spins particularly expansive anecdotes about his time as an undercover narcotics officer. But there is a case Peterson does not want to discuss. It's that of Rachel Mellon, a 13-year-old girl who disappeared from her home 12 years ago today.

"Yeah, I worked on that," he said. And he stops right there.

Rachel and Stacy
Rachel Mellon has quite a bit in common with Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Both Rachel and Stacy were last seen in their Bolingbrook homes, which are about six miles apart. Rachel and Stacy are both missing. Police presume both are dead, and the police have not charged anyone.
Peterson is no longer a police officer, and actually has the law looking at him for the disappearance of his fourth wife. State police also are revisiting the bathtub drowning of wife No. 3, Kathleen Savio. The first time around, state police found nothing overtly suspicious about her March 2004 demise.

Bolingbrook police did not see any signs of foul play in the immediate aftermath of Rachel's disappearance either. A full two days after Rachel's disappearance, police still considered the matter a missing person or runaway case, despite evidence that the teen took nothing with her but slippers, the sleep clothes on her back and possibly a blue blanket. She would have ventured out on her own into the snow and freezing January air while dressed for bed.

Father unhappy with police
Rachel's father, Jeffrey Skemp, blasted the police for how they handled the case.
"I just think that Will County's just inept. I know Bolingbrook is," said Skemp, who lives in Forest Park. "They waited a week before they went in the house. They wait too long before they realize the seriousness of the case. They've just got a terrible track record."

State police, armed with a search warrant, hit Peterson's house three days after his wife was reported missing. In 1997, Rachel's mother, Amy Mellon, said the police did not arrive until an hour after she called, then told her they could do nothing for the next 24 hours. They returned the next day to look around the family's home, said Amy Mellon, who was married to Skemp for about seven years.

The day she was last seen alive, Rachel was home alone with her stepfather, Vince Mellon. She suffered from a sore throat and had called off sick from school.

No one realized Rachel was missing until the evening, when Amy Mellon came home from work.

Vince Mellon later told police he last saw Rachel about 2:30 p.m. that day, as he was on his way out to take a walk with the family dog, Duke. The dog chased a rabbit, according to Vince Mellon, and was returned by a real estate appraiser, whom police described as a "good Samaritan" who happened to be in the area on business.

In the time between taking the dog out and Amy Mellon's return from work, Vince Mellon says he did not look in on Rachel in the bedroom where he presumed she would be.

Problems with the law
Vince Mellon has run afoul of the law in the years since his stepdaughter disappeared, with arrests on theft, battery, drunken driving and domestic battery charges.
Amy Mellon and her family now live in Cleveland, Tenn., north of Chattanooga.

Amy Mellon did not want to discuss her daughter's disappearance and said she knew nothing of the Stacy Peterson case. She said she was "too busy" to pay attention to it.

Skemp said he has kept up with the Peterson case and remembers Drew Peterson from the investigation of Rachel's disappearance.

"I met that guy, and I kind of liked him," Skemp said.

On Jan. 29, 2000, police picked up Vince Mellon and held him for nine hours at the Bolingbrook station house. Police then served a warrant ordering he surrender samples of his blood, saliva and body hair as part of a first-degree murder investigation.

Four days later, Vince and Amy Mellon were called to testify before a grand jury, and police revealed that they had made "significant developments" in the case through "technical advances." Eight years later, none of these "significant developments" or "technical advances" has come to light; the "evidence" extracted from Vince Mellon's body, along with the grand jury testimony from him and his wife, have led nowhere; and the body of Rachel, who was the victim of a "first-degree murder," according to the search warrant served on Vince Mellon, remains missing.

'Investigative tracks'
On Jan. 18, state police issued a statement claiming, among other things, they have followed "additional investigative tracks" in the Stacy Peterson case. They did not disclose what those tracks might be.
Last week, State's Attorney James Glasgow's office released a statement saying a special grand jury convened in November to hear testimony about both the Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio cases, will continue for about another four months, with an option to extend it for another six months after that.

"The Will County state's attorney's office remains confident that justice will be served at the conclusion of these methodical and disciplined investigations," the statement says.

For his part, Peterson, the same cop Skemp remembers, says his wife ran off on him to take up with another man. And he has not been shy about sharing his feelings on the case, frequently speaking to all manner of media.

Peterson's outgoing persona has not changed much from years ago, Skemp said.

"He was real brazen and kind of cocky," Skemp said. "I think the whole world knows he's cocky now."

ContDrew recalls Mellon case 12 years lateract Joe Hosey at (815) 729-6054 or e-mail him at jhosey@scn1.com


http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/news/764243,4_1_JO29_MELLON_S1.article
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