Cold Case Wiki
Rita Baxter
Rita in 1990
Rita Baxter
Portrayed by Abigail Mavity
Episode The Sleepover
Status Deceased (1990)

Rita Baxter was the victim in "The Sleepover". She was a scholarship student at Chestnut Collegiate.

Rita was invited to a secret sleepover by her former friend, Ariel Shuman, and Chestnut's resident mean girls Brandi Beaudry and Tiffany O'Connell. There, she was made the butt of insults and cruel jokes. Brandi and Tiffany even drew marks on her body where she was "fatty". Tiffany in particular hated Rita because her father and Rita's mother Kelly were having an affair with each other. Rita also kissed Brandi's brother Neil as part of a game.

Rita discovered that Brandi and Neil were being abused by their parents when the couple came home early; she was caught by Mr. Beaudry and forced to admit why she was at Brandi's house before being sent home. However, Rita returned to convince Brandi and Neil to tell another adult about their parents' cruelty. Neil agreed but Brandi refused and threatened to kill Rita if she told anyone. Tiffany tried to leave with Rita but was prevented by Brandi. Rita and Ariel were eventually kicked out. Brandi also told Ariel that they weren't friends anymore.

Ariel was distraught on their walk home through the woods. Rita tried to comfort Ariel by saying that popularity won't matter so much in the future, as her mother told her. She suggested they could still be friends, all through high school and even college, where they would be cool. Rita was instead pushed in a rage by Ariel into Devil's Creek, where she hit her head on a rock and died. Her death was ruled as an accidental drowning.

In 2004, Neil (now schizophrenic) accidentally killed a woman and drew the same marks on her that were on Rita. This caused Rita's case to be reopened and eventually solved. In the epilogue, Det. Lilly Rush imagined Rita riding her bike home, just like she did in the cold open.