In June 1992, the body of a woman with a unique tattoo was discovered in the Groot Schijn river in Antwerp, Belgium. Despite efforts by authorities to identify her through publications, her true identity remained a mystery. Last week, after 31 years, it was revealed that the woman with the flower tattoo was Rita Roberts, a 31-year-old from Cardiff, Wales.
Rita had a troubled past, involving criminal activities such as arson, prostitution, theft, and blackmail. Her family had spent decades searching for her, even fearing that she may have perished in the 1992 Dutch airline disaster. The breakthrough came when Rita's younger sister recognized the description of her missing sister's tattoo in an international police appeal.
The identification brought a mix of relief and sorrow to Rita's family. They described her as a "passionate, loving, and free-spirited" person who had a zest for life. Rita's family had endured an agonizing search, scouring the UK and Europe for any trace of her. Finally, they were able to bring closure to their decades-long quest.
The case of Rita Roberts sheds light on the plight of unidentified victims of crime. It also highlights the ongoing Interpol campaign, Operation Identify Me, which seeks to identify 22 women believed to have been murdered. Rita's family hopes that shedding light on these cases will ultimately lead to the reunification of other families searching for their loved ones.
As the investigation continues into Rita's death, Belgian authorities are calling on the public for any information that may help solve the case. Rita's family is now planning to bring her back home to Cardiff, where she will be laid to rest among her loved ones.