14-year-old Karen Caughlin's 1974 Death Remains Active Investigation
Point Edward, ON - Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is making an emotional appeal
for information to bring resolution to family and friends of a Sarnia teenager who
have lived with her loss for nearly 44 years.
14-year-old Karen Ann CAUGHLIN was last seen on the night of Friday, March 15th,
1974. Her body was discovered mid-morning the next day 22-kilometres away near the
side of the then-6th Sideroad or Freer Road, now known as Plowing Match Road, between
Churchill Line an d Lasalle Line in Lambton County.
At a news conference today, police confirmed their belief that Karen may not have
been deliberately killed, but that her injuries are consistent with being the victim
of a tragic collision with a motor vehicle. Karen was then moved from the location
where she sustained fatal injuries to where her body was ultimately discovered.
Investigators also admitted they have received more information from the public
and have conducted subsequent analysis over the last three years to further the
investigation into Karen's suspicious death. For example, lack of visibility that
night due to fog and Karen's clothing, motorists may not have seen nor expected
to find someone walking close to the roadway.
Anyone with new information on the
Karen CAUGHLIN case may call Lambton County OPP at 1-519-882-1011. If a
caller prefer s to remain anonymous, they can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477
(TIPS) or submit information online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/.
"The OPP understands and sympathizes with families who have lived with the tragic
loss of a loved one. Karen CAUGHLIN's family has endured this tragedy for 43 years
and have missed experiencing annual gatherings, celebrations and life events that
form the lives we aspire to live. We know people know what happened to Karen and
strongly urge them to come forward. The family deserves the resolution we have been
seeking." -- Detective-Inspector Chris AVERY, Commander, OPP Lambton County Detachment
Karen CAUGHLIN was a resident of the City of Sarnia, the second youngest of six
children. Photos of Karen (and family/friends) and the area where she was recovered
can be found here (www.opp.ca/media/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 15th, 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.
A $50,000.00 reward for information on Karen's death remains in effect.
To help determine what happened to Karen CAUGHLIN, a seven-minute, case chronology
video has been viewed more than 22,600 times since 2014 and remains available
the official OPP YouTube channel.
OPP Contact Information