Front Page Detectives

14-year-old was murdered along a Florida beach on St. Patrick's Day in 1990. Decades later, cops hope to find her killer.

Source: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Mar. 17 2022, Published 9:09 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

On St. Patrick’s 1990, 14-year-old Rachel Hurley was hanging out on a boat with some friends. She was well known in the Jupiter, Florida, area and was one of the popular girls at her middle school.

Article continues below advertisement

She was supposed to meet her mom at 3 p.m., so her friends docked the boat and Hurley ran towards their meeting location a mile away.

But she never made it. Hours later, the teen was found in the woods, partially nude and murdered.

More than three decades after her murder, police still hope to one day solve who killed Hurley.

Article continues below advertisement

The case has become one of the most famous cold cases in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Sheriff’s Office marks the anniversary of her death with posts on social media and created a documentary about the case.

Hurley was a student at Jupiter Middle School and loved going to the beach.

palm beach
Source: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Article continues below advertisement

She was out with two other girls and two boys on March 17, 1990, and around 2:45 p.m., Hurley got nervous as she was supposed to meet her mom in 15 minutes, police said. The friends docked the boat, and the girls ran towards the meeting place at a park about a mile away.

The two other girls stopped to use the restroom and asked Hurley to wait, but she ran ahead.

Article continues below advertisement

Her mom was at the park and when Hurley didn’t arrive, she went to check another beach, police said. The mom went to check home, no sign of Hurley there either. Friends and family started to search and the sheriff’s office was notified around 5 p.m.

More than 100 deputies, friends and community members searched.


Around 8 p.m., the 14-year-old’s partially nude body was found in the woods between the beach and the park, police said. Her cause of death was asphyxiation.

Article continues below advertisement

“Somebody who murdered Rachel is out there enjoying life,” Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Deputy William Springer said in the documentary. “Just went on enjoying life like nothing.”

The beach was lightly populated for that Saturday because of heavy winds. That limited the number of potential witnesses. Still, police had numerous leads. None have panned out and no arrests have been made.

More than three decades after Hurley’s murder, investigators want to solve her killing.

Article continues below advertisement

“I know someone out there has first-hand knowledge that could push us on the right track to put this person in jail,” Springer said.

Anyone with information on the Hurley case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (561) 688-4013. A $15,000 reward is being offered in the case.

Source: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.