Mary Rachel Trlica, who went by Rachel, was a 17-year-old high school student. She lived with her husband of six months, Tommy Trlica, a 21-year-old divorced father of one, and Tommy’s 2-year-old son, Shawn.

Born Rachel Arnold to her parents, Cotton and Fran Arnold, Rachel had an 11-year-old brother named Rusty, and a 19-year-old sister named Debra. Tommy was originally engaged to Debra. Despite this, the sisters remained close and Debra moved in with the couple in December of 1974.

On December 23, Rachel invited Debra to the mall to get a Christmas present for her stepson. Debra said she was too tired, so Rachel invited her 14-year-old best friend, Lisa Renee Wilson, instead.

Terry Moseley and Renee Wilson 

Lisa went by her middle name, Renee. Renee was dating 15-year-old Terry Moseley, who lived across the street from her grandmother with his parents and two little sisters, 11-year-old Janet and 9-year-old Julie.

That morning, Terry gave Renee a promise ring and she was overcome with joy. She invited Terry to the mall but he already had plans. 9-year-old Julie overheard the conversation and begged their mother to let her tag along.

At noon, Rachel arrived to pick up Renee and Julie. They got into her 1972 Oldsmobile 98 and took off. Renee planned to return home by 4 pm since she had plans to attend a Christmas party with Terry later that evening.

The girls went to Army & Navy followed by the Seminary South Shopping Center, now known as Fort Worth Town Center, a mall 10 minutes away.

By 4 pm, the girls still hadn’t returned home and by 6, loved ones were frantic. They rushed to the mall and found Rachel’s car in the Sears parking lot. It was locked and inside was a single Christmas present.

The girls were reported missing that evening. The next day, Tommy said he found a letter in the mailbox from Rachel. The strange letter read:

I know I’m going to catch it, but we had to get away. We’re going to Houston. See you in about a week. The car is in Sears’ upper lot. Love Rachel”

The letter was addressed to Thomas A. Trlica, rather than Tommy as Rachel always called him, and her own name was nearly misspelled. The letter was sent to the FBI with samples of her handwriting and it was determined that it was written by a right-handed person while Rachel was left-handed.

Rachel’s husband, Tommy, received this note the day after she and two friends vanished

An acquaintance of Rachel’s said he saw the girls in a record store with a fourth person, a man. A store clerk said she saw three girls being forced into a yellow truck by two men while a third witness, a retired police officer, said he saw the girls inside a truck with a mall security guard.

The guard was interviewed but he denied any involvement in the girls’ disappearances. Soon after, the families hired PI Jon Swaim. Sadly, Jon took his own life in 1979 and he ordered that all case files be destroyed upon his de*ath. The families were devastated and from there, the case went cold.

In 2001, investigators concluded that the girls left the mall with someone they knew and trusted, possibly even two people. The case remains unsolved.

Tommy divorced Rachel in 1976 on grounds of abandonment. He re-married shortly thereafter and moved to Throckmorton, Texas. Some of the missing girls’ relatives are still alive and desperately waiting for answers.

Today, Rachel would be 65, Renee would be 62 and Julie would be 57. If you have any information, contact the Fort Worth Police Department at 817-877-8345.

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