Just days from the 40th anniversary of her murder, the OPP will be releasing a new video hoping to spark memories about the slaying of Karen Caughlin.
But for the family, March 15 is significant only because it marks 40 years of hell.
Karen Caughlin was just 14 when the Sarnia girl went roller-skating with her friends at the Rose Garden on March 15, 1974. She never returned home. Her battered body was found on Plowing Match Road outside of Police have never charged anyone in her murder.
More than a decade ago, the OPP began actively investigating the cold case, while her sisters, Kathy Caughlin and Mary Lou Schwemler anxiously waited. But they soon became disillusioned with the investigation, charging the OPP had mishandled the case. In May 2011, the family held a news conference calling for an external review of the file.
Caughlin’s concerns were renewed when two local car collectors said a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner with chips of Plum Crazy paint matching the description of one involved in Karen’s death was never examined, despite several calls to the OPP. That prompted a protest in front of the Lambton OPP station last August, but still no resolution.
Months later, the family said it would no longer deal with the OPP saying the believed the case should be reviewed by an outside police agency. The OPP steadfastly maintained they continued to actively investigate the case.
Thursday, (March 13) the OPP will unveil a video reconstructing the last hours of Karen’s life hoping to jar 40 year old memories.
Schwemler has been in contact with the OPP and knows about the video. She hopes it will help, but Schwemler isn’t sure it will.
“My family has lived in hell for 40 years. I still hold on to the hope that the OPP will agree to an independent review one day, but I am not holding my breath,” Schwemler wrote to The Independent via Facebook.
“We have lived with their lies for too long and finally we are walking away from the OPP. Karen will always be with us and we hope and pray that someday we will all have peace in our hearts.
“Living 40 years without my sister Karen causes an indescribable pain in my heart every day. Dealing with the OPP only adds to the pain. It is hard to deal with people that you no longer trust.”
And while the OPP again remind people of Karen’s murder on the anniversary of her death, Schwemler says she is remembering her beautiful sister. “Karen is always with me, everyday.”