OPP still searching for clues to Karen Caughlin’s death

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OPP in 1974 on Plowing Match Road where Karen Caughlin's body was found. OPP Image

Lambton OPP marked the 49th year since Karen Caughlin was killed by again asking for the public’s help to solve the mystery surrounding her death.

Karen Caughlin

On March 15, 1974, the teen and a friend were at the Rose Gardens rollerskating rink in Point Edward from about 7:45 to 11 pm. Caughlin arranged to stay with a friend who lived close to her house on Brock St. South. The girls accepted a ride home and drove away. Just before 1 am, the friends dropped Caughlin off, alone, at her friends home and drove away.

She was never seen alive again. The teen’s battered body was found on what is now Plowing Match Road March 16. For decades, police called her death murder. At one point, Crime Stoppers offered a reward for information about a 1970-1971 Dodge high performance car in the colour “Plum Crazy.”

But in 2017, OPP said forensic evidence showed Caughlin’s injuries were consistent with being struck by a vehicle. Police now suspect her body was moved – likely from Oil Heritage Line – to Plowing Match Road.

OPP Insp. Chris Avery says police continue to receive tips on the cold case. On the anniversary of her death, the OPP in a news release said they want to hear from anyone who may have discussed attending or hosting a party in Petrolia after going to the Rose Gardens.

OPP are also looking for information about a car crash in the Petrolia area or damage to a vehicle around March 16, 1974. “Someone may have observed damage to a vehicle, or not noticed damage to their own vehicle at the time.”

If you have information about Caughlin’s death, contact the OPP at 519-882-1011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. There is a $50,000 reward for information about Caughlin’s death.

Meantime, the family continues to look for a memorial cross and photos which were taken from the crash site several years ago and urge the person responsible to return it to the OPP station.