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Murdered Middlesbrough teenager Rachel Wilson finally laid to rest
THE family of a murdered North-East teenager have finally been able to lay her to rest more than ten years after she went missing.
Heartbroken family and friends paid an emotional farewell to Rachel Wilson at a packed St Bede’s Chapel, at the crematorium in Acklam Road, Middlesbrough, where she was described as vivacious and energetic.
Among the mourners were Rachel’s mother, Tina, brother Carl and sister Nicola, who read out a poem expressing the family’s devastating loss.
Nineteen-year-old Rachel’s remains were discovered by a farmer’s son carrying out drainage work on a farm on the outskirts of Middlesbrough, in June.
Yesterday, Rob Wills, who led the service, spoke of the family’s devastation and loss, but how their love for Rachel had helped them through difficult times.
He said: “We are not going to dwell on her sad death, that’s for another place and another time. Rachel’s life was not long, but she left her mark and let’s remember the fun and loving girl that she was.
“I didn’t know Rachel, but spent some time with the family before the funeral and I was so impressed by the mutual support and saw all too clear the depth of love and affection for Rachel.
“Rachel was gorgeous, she was a good-looking young woman with an engaging personality, she was an energetic and vivacious girl.”
A poem read out by Rachel’s sister reduced many mourners to tears, however, the service ended on an upbeat note when her coffin was carried out to the theme tune of her favourite television programme, Baywatch.
Her mother said: “I would just like to thank everyone for coming and offering their support. It has meant a lot to our family and I know that Rachel would be grateful too.”
The 19-year-old was last seen alive at 2.30am on May 31, 2002, when CCTV images showed her walking along Southfield Road, in Middlesbrough town centre.
She was one of three young women who went missing from Middlesbrough in a four year period.
Donna Keogh was 17 when she disappeared in 1998, from Hartington Road, near the Shipmate pub, in Middlesbrough town centre.
The body of Vicky Glass was found in a shallow grave on the North York Moors, in November 2000, two months after she vanished.
Police believe that Rachel’s naked body was dumped at about the time she went missing by someone who knew the area around the farm.
Last week, Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded an open verdict after a post-mortem examination was unable to establish a cause of death.
The Northern Echo attended the funeral with the family’s permission.