The brother of one of three Fort Worth, Texas girls to go missing in 1974 has raised money to pay divers to pull cars out of a nearby lake in an effort to find clues connected to the mysterious cold case.
On Dec. 23, 1974, Rachel Trlica, 17, Lisa Renee Wilson, 14, and Julie Moseley, 9, went missing after going shopping at Seminary South Shopping Center, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Rusty Arnold, Trlica’s brother, believes that three cars found submerged inside Benbrook Lake may hold clues to the disappearance of the three girls. He and other volunteers have raised money through a GoFundMe to pull the three vehicles from the bottom of the lake, which is located about 10 miles away from the shopping center.
Fort Worth Police have said that there's not enough evidence to conduct the dive, according to NBCDFW, prompting the volunteer effort.The money Arnold has been raising is to purchase equipment for the job.
“It's been now over 40 long years since that horrible day and I have been looking for my sister and her 2 friends my entire adult life,” Arnold wrote on the fundraiser, created in 2015. “It's been a long and hard 40 years and my family has been torn apart. It's time to put this to rest.”
Arnold was 11 when his sister and her friends went missing. He has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Now, after three years of raising money, divers are getting ready to pull out the cars. A practice dive was conducted Friday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Arnold believes that one of the cars in the lake belongs to a person of interest in the case.
“At the same time the girls went missing, we believe the vehicle he was driving also disappeared,” Arnold told the Starr-Telegram. “We sat around coming up with theories, and we discovered that the person of interest lived within five miles of Benbrook Lake at the time. It’s a hunch.”
Arnold has also created a Facebook page and a website, missingtrio.com, dedicated to cracking the cold case. On the site, Arnold gave backstory to the day the girls vanished: “Rachel Arnold Trlica, 17, picked up her friend Renee Wilson, 14, and when little Julie Ann Moseley, who lived across the street from Renee's grandmother, begged to go along, the older girls said she'd have to get permission. Julie Ann was only 9 that morning and simply didn't want to spend the day alone. She persuaded her mother to let her go.”
The girls picked up some layaway gifts from an Army Navy Store and parked a car by the mall. Their Christmas gifts were later found locked inside.
Witnesses told police they saw the girls inside the shopping center. One witness claimed they saw the girls being forced into a pickup; another said they saw a man forcing a girl into a van, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The case is still considered an open investigation.