New leads give investigators hope five years later in search for Rachel Cyriacks
A lot has happened in the last five years. When Rachel Cyriacks disappeared in 2013, President Obama had just started his second term. Two years later, the United States Supreme Court affirmed same sax marriage, and last year 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured in that deadly Las Vegas shooting.
Those five years since Rachel’s disappearance from Woonsocket, South Dakota, has taken a toll on her family and investigators. But, there is now new hope for investigators.
“I can't change it. I just can't change it. I want to but it can't,” Rachel’s mom Mary Schabot said.
Where is Rachel Cyriacks? Five years later, that question remains for her family, friends and investigators.
“Oh, she was the baby of the family. We got along really good, me and her. Her dad and her got along really good,” Mary said.
Rachel disappeared on Nov. 13, 2013. Her mom said she knew by the next day that something was wrong.
“It can't be true. I don't want to believe it. My birthday's on the 14th and she said she promised she'd call me that day. That’s why I knew something was up, but I mean I couldn't prove it,” Mary said.
Rachel had a strenuous relationship with her husband, Brad. Mary said one minute they'd be in love, the next, they'd hate each other. When Rachel disappeared, Mary said she felt like Brad had something to do with it.
“Brad knows something and because it's the day he got out of jail. He told me she would go missing someday and I said well, I’ll always remember that,” Mary said.
“Rachel’s husband Brad Cyriacks is what I would consider a prime suspect in this investigation. He has, to this day, has really done nothing to clear his name. The things he does continues to point the finger at him at being responsible for this,” South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigations agent Tyler Neuharth said.
Investigators continue to follow leads in her disappearance, but they admit, the chances of finding her alive are unlikely.
Neuharth is the agent on Rachel’s case.
“Some of the tips that we receive are fairly far-fetched. We start doing our research, we start looking into those leads, and we start figuring out where they're generated from and a lot of it is third or fourth hand information. The information gets skewed and by the time it reaches us, it's not even close to what the original person said,” Neuharth said.
Those tips have led investigators to places where Rachel’s body may be buried…
“Right here there was a large ditch and around the time that Rachel went missing one of Brad's friends was doing some work out there,” Neuharth said.
A blanket that disappeared when Rachel did…
“I know we've posted pictures of that blanket on the missing posters,” Neuharth said.
And dental records they have compared to other bodies that have not been identified.
“This is her dental records, and then this would be the dental records from a missing person that was found in Iowa. So we're using them to compare. Potentially it could be her, but I don't think it is,” Neuharth said.
Investigators are now hot on the trail of some new leads.
“These tips that have come in recently seem to be much more credible than some of the tips we've received in the past. So I’m very optimistic that these are actually going to lead us in the right direction, lead us potentially to where Rachel’s at, and also to who is responsible for what happened to her,” Neuharth said.
Neuharth said like the family, he believes someone out there knows something.
“Sit back and think about, what if their loved one was lost and gone for five years. What would they want someone else to do in their situation? I think the right thing to do is come forward, share that information,” Neuharth said.
After five years, many wonder if they will ever find her body or find closure.
“Genuinely it's a fear that it's going to take another five years. I didn't know Rachel obviously before this happened, so I don't know her on personal level. But, after getting this involved in an investigation and spending this much time, it almost feels like you know them, and it does become pretty personal for you,” Neuharth said.
That closure is what Mary holds on to. She hopes Rachel’s story gives other woman, who find themselves in an abusive relationship, the strength to get out before it's too late.
“Don’t believe that he won't do it. He will. He eventually will. Just a matter of time and who knows what day that's going to be,” Mary said.
Mary said she's never given up hope of finding Rachel.
“Oh I might find her yeah, but alive, probably not,” Mary said.
After five years, she can't help but think what she would say to her if she were still alive.
“There’s so many things. I love her. I miss her. I want her back. I just want to hug her. I think if she did come back id never let her go,” Mary said.
Neuharth said Rachel’s case will continue to stay active as long as they keep getting tips and leads.
If you have any information on Rachel’s disappearance or where she is located, you should contact the Sanborn County Sheriff’s office at 605-796-4511.