REACHELLE SMITH – ENDANGERED MISSING May 17, 2006 – UPDATED 04.11.2013
Date of Birth: September 10, 2002
Height: 3’4” Weight: 40 lbs
Hair: Lt. Brown Eyes: Brown
Missing: May 17, 2006 From: Minot, ND
Reachelle was last seen by her aunt and legal guardian, Stephanie Smith, at 10:30 p.m. on May 16, 2006. Reachelle was asleep on the couch at the time. When Stephanie woke up the next morning, Reachelle was gone. Her roommate, Leigh Cowen, had stated his mother had picked Reachelle up and would be keeping her for a few days. Cowen was very close to Reachelle and claimed to be her father, although he wasn’t related to her. Stephanie believed his story, but she became concerned as days passed with no word from either Reachelle or Cowen’s mother.
On May 22, Cowen apparently stole Stephanie’s teal 1995 Ford van with North Dakota license plates HAY548 and disappeared. Stephanie called his mother at this time and discovered that Cowen’s mother did not have Reachelle and had no clue where she was. Stephanie reported her niece as a missing child at this time, and Cowen became the prime suspect in her disappearance. It was thought that he may have taken Reachelle to Kansas where his family lives, but this theory was disproven when the stolen van was located in the upper Souris Wildlife Refuge on May 23. Cowen’s body was inside, he had commited suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of Reachelle.
Authorities are uncertain about what happened to Reachelle, but they do not believe she is still alive. Cowen is still considered the prime and only suspect in her disappearance. Reachelle is missing under suspicious circumstances.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Reachelle Smith, please immediately contact the Minot Police Department at:
The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at: