Caughlin family pleads for vandals to return memorial on the 48th anniversary of Karen’s death


On the 48th anniversary of the death of Karen Caughlin, her family is hoping not only for the mystery surrounding her final hours to be solved but for the people responsible for taking down a memorial to her to return it.

Karen Ann Caughlin was last seen alive at the Rose Garden Roller Rink in Point Edward. 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, perhaps on Oil Heritage Road. 

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.

And as the family marks the day which changed their world, they’re now pleading for help. A memorial to Caughlin, which had been placed along Plowing Match Road has been removed.

Family members are urging those responsible for taking the cross and memorial to please return it or drop it off at the Lambton County OPP Detachment at 4224 Oil Heritage Road in Petrolia.  

What police know

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.

If you have any information about Caughlin’s death, please call Crime Stoppers or Lambton OPP at  1-888-310-1122