A teen left home for a supposed doctor’s visit in North Carolina. Days later, she was reported missing. Two weeks after that, she was found partially clothed and murdered.
More than 20 years later, police still hope to solve the cold case.
Judy Carol Rawlings, 16, was reported missing from her Randolph County, North Carolina, home on Oct. 5, 2001. Her mom told sheriff’s deputies that the teen was leaving for a doctor’s appointment around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 3. That was the last time she saw her daughter alive.
An 18-year-old told police that he gave Rawlings a ride on a four-wheeler and left her on Oct. 4, according to investigators.
The teen was missing for weeks. Until Oct. 19 when a hunter found Rawlings’ partially clothed body, according to police. Her remains were in a field about a half-mile away from her home.
"She was partially clothed. There was with nothing left of my child," her mother Tammy Schmidt told WFMY in 2019, "Animals had already been eating on my child. I went out there, six months later after they had retrieved her body, and I even found a bone of my child."
The cause of death was undetermined, but an autopsy determined the death was from an intentional fatal injury, according to the Courier-Tribune.
Police have yet to arrest anyone in connection to her death. Though, a $5,000 reward is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (336) 672-7463.
Schmidt said she had cancer when her child went missing in 2001, according to WFMY. Then she never returned home.
The mom was still hopeful that one day the case will be solved, and she believed police were trying to get her answers.
"There’s a few people that know what happened to my child. More than one person. We just need them to you know speak up and tell what happened," she told the TV station. "I think we’re going to get the answers we’ve been waiting for."
Become a Front Page Detective
Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.