Left: Mary circa 1974 Right: Age Progressed to age 55
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 23, 1974 from Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: November 15, 1957
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 5’6″; 108 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female, Brown hair, Green eyes, Rachel has a small scar on her chin, her upper front tooth is chipped, her maiden name is “Arnold” and she usually goes by her middle name “Rachel”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A wedding ring
Circumstances of Disappearance
Mary Trlica was last seen with Lisa Renee Wilson and Julie Ann Moseley on December 23rd 1974 in Fort Worth, Texas. They were spending the day Christmas shopping at the Seminary South Shopping Center. Lisa was a friend of Julie’s family and Julie has never met Rachel prior to the trip.
Julie lived across the street from Lisa’s grandmother at the time of her disappearance which was where Lisa was spending the late morning hours of December 23rd. Lisa originally asked Julie’s older brother, Terry, who she was dating at the time, to accompany her and Mary to the mall but he couldn’t go. The girls let Julie tag along after she got permission from her mother to do so.
The trio left just before noon and arrived at the Army/Navy store to get Christmas presents from the layaway. They then went to the Seminary South Shopping Center. They parked the Trlica family’s Oldsmobile on the upper parking level near the Sears Department Store.
When the girls were reported missing, witnesses came forth to authorities and stated they had seen the three girls in the mall during the day. Authorities believe that the girls returned to the car at some point during afternoon but anything that they may have occurred afterwards remains a mystery.
Authorities initially believed that Mary, Lisa, and Julie had runaway but the families of the girls believed that something else transpired that day.
The theory that they left was seemingly corroborated by a letter that Rachel allegedly mailed to the Trlica residence the day after they went missing. The letter was addressed to Thomas, Mary’s husband at the time, and the name in the corner was signed “Rachel”. The letter stated that the three were in Houston, Texas and would return approximately within a week.
The letter also apparently gave directions to where the car was located sat the shopping area. Authorities are unsure of who wrote the letter and handwriting analysis results ended inconclusively.
Authorities believe that the girls may have been abducted. Many witnesses gave reports that they saw the girls or at least one of them being forced into vehicle. One sighting said a truck while the other said a van. Another witness gave a claim in 2001 where he stated he saw the three girls in a pickup truck with a young man who was a security guard at the shopping center at approximately 11:30 pm.
The girls were apparently relaxed and seemed to be in the vehicle willingly. The security guard was located and identified by police but he maintained that he did not have the girls in his truck that night. This tip was actually sent to police within a few days of their disappearances but authorities failed to investigate the tip until 2001.
Mary’s brother, Rusty, believes that the girls were abducted and that Lisa and Julie were killed. He as well as private investigator, Dan James, believe that Mary is alive and that unknown individual(s) are keeping her from visiting the Fort Worth area. Several “credible” witnesses reportedly saw Mary in the Fort Worth area in the decades after her supposed abduction.
James began to offer a $25,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest in the disappearances in December of 1999. Rusty and James both maintained a website known as MissingTrio.com to help raise awareness and display information on the case.
The three girls remain missing and their disappearances remains unsolved. Authorities believe that the girls left the mall with someone they trusted and knew and were murdered afterwards.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Fort Worth Police Department 817-877-8345
NCMEC Number: 601926