Date: 11 Aug 1998
Rachel Tough was beaten to death with a hammer on 11 August 1998.
The main suspect in her murder was later found hung in some woods about a mile away after which the police scaled down their investigation.
Her murder was said to have been connected with the murder of Julie Smailes in 1996 as they had had mutual friends as well as the possible murder of Emma Kennedy who was found dead in 1999 after having apparently jumped off of a viaduct. However, it was thought that Emma Kennedy might have been murdered because she had known too much about the murders of Rachel Tough and Julie Smailes. Emma Kennedy had been close friends with the man that was suspected in the murder of Rachel Tough and who was found hanged in the wood.
Rachel Tough was last seen when she had gone to the main suspects house, which was three doors away from her own, to help fix a washing machine after he had called her. The man's wife found her there dead on the kitchen floor when she later got home with her children.
The man was found hanged in the woods a week later. At Rachel Tough's inquest the Coroner said that he had no doubt that the man had killed Rachel Tough.
Rachel Tough worked nearby at Leadgate Junior School where she was a trainee teacher and was also a part-time barmaid at a working men's club and a hotel.