Twenty-seven years ago today, 14-year-old Rachel Hurley was raped and killed in Jupiter. Her killer has not been caught and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office admits there is no person of interest.
But anyone out there that thinks they got away with murder might want to reconsider.
“At the sheriff’s office, we don’t give up,” Detective William Springer, a cold-case investigator for PBSO on the Hurley case, said at a news conference Friday. “We’re not going to give up.”
Springer said he has reason to hope the girl’s killer will be found. Last year, PBSO’s four-person Cold Case Unit solved the 1975 murder of Jean Savage, a 37-year-old Delray Beach housewife who was found brutally beaten, raped and stabbed to death at her home.
A tip and DNA evidence led the sheriff’s office to James Franklin Rose, a death-row inmate convicted in the 1976 murder of an 8-year-old girl. Rose, 71, confessed to killing Savage. He is housed at the Union Correctional Institute in Raiford, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.
“We have hope on every case,” Springer said. “That was 41 years ago and we never gave up on that one.”
Springer said PBSO has “good physical evidence” on Hurley’s killer. What’s needed is a name that matches that evidence.
On St. Patrick’s Day in 1990, Hurley was with friends at Jupiter Beach Park, just south of the Jupiter Inlet, when she ran down the beach toward Carlin Park to meet her mother. The teen cut through a wooded area and then disappeared, according to reports.
Her beaten body was found under heavy brush later that day. Authorities say she was suffocated.
The public’s help will likely be needed to find the killer because whoever did it “is not going to turn himself in. You can bet on that,” Springer said.
Springer and his fellow cold-case detectives are also working two other high profiles murders. Cynthia Moffett was killed March 23, 2006 after she was shot twice at the Forest Oaks Golf Club during an attempted robbery. Randi Gorenberg was car-jacked and murdered March 23, 2007 after she went shopping at the Town Center at Boca Raton.
The sheriff’s office regularly holds news conferences to mark the anniversaries of the deaths of Hurley, Moffett and Gorenberg.
A news conference last year to talk about the Hurley case produced tips that allowed PBSO to eliminate “five or six” potential suspects, Springer said.
“Whoever took her life needs to pay for it,” Springer said. “I don’t care if they’re 80 years old or 90. We’ll still arrest him and make him pay for what he did to Rachel and her family.”