Today marks a difficult anniversary for the Caughlin family.
It was 45 years ago today that Karen Ann Caughlin was last seen alive at the Rose Garden Roller Rink. The 14-year-old had been roller skating with her friends and never returned home.
Her body was found some 22 kilometres away on Plowing Match Road between Churchill and Lasalle Line.
In 2017, police revealed science-based information that Karen’s injuries were consistent with that of being hit by a motor vehicle. Karen was then moved from the location where she sustained the fatal injuries to where her body was ultimately discovered. They still believe someone knows what happened to Caughlin.
Karen and a friend were at the Rose Gardens roller skating rink from approximately 7:45 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on March 15, 1974. During this time, Karen arranged to stay the night at another girlfriend’s house, very close to her own home on Brock Street South. She was expected to arrive before 1:00 a.m. The girls left Rose Gardens and accepted a ride with other friends. At 12:50 a.m., the friends dropped off Karen alone at a second girlfriend’s home and drove away. Police want to hear from or about anyone who may have discussed attending or hosting a social gathering in Petrolia after going to the Rose Gardens roller skating rink, perhaps the day before Karen was last seen alive. The OPP also wants to hear from anyone with information about a motor vehicle collision in the Petrolia area, or damage sustained by a motor vehicle around that time. Someone may have observed damage to a vehicle, or not noticed damage to their own vehicle at the time.
Anyone with new information may call Lambton County OPP at 1-519-882-1011. If a caller prefers to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/.