Tuesday, May 28, 2024

British woman murdered in Belgium identified after international appeal

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LYON, France – Thirty-one years after an identification operation, the murdered woman has been identified as Rita Roberts.

The international appeal was launched in May this year by Belgian, Dutch and German police in collaboration with Interpol, asking for the public’s help in identifying the 22 women believed to have been murdered.

One of the unsolved cases known as “The Woman with the Flower Tattoo” dates back to June 3, 1992, when the body of a woman hit a bar in the water of the “Groot Schein” river near Ten Eekhoverei in Antwerp. was discovered. Belgium. She had been violently murdered.

Her most striking physical feature was a floral tattoo of a black flower and green leaves on her left forearm, beneath which was written “R’Nick.” For 30 years, the victims remained anonymous.

How Rita Roberts was identified

The following details have been published with the consent of the victim’s family and the Antwerp Public Prosecutor’s Office.

  • Rita Roberts was 31 years old when she moved to Antwerp from Cardiff in February 1992.
  • The last time she communicated with her relatives by postcard was in May 1992.
  • On May 10th of this year, an operation to identify me was launched and received widespread publicity, with approximately 1,250 tips received from the public.
  • A family living in the UK noticed the tattoo in the news and reported it to Interpol and Belgian authorities through the Identify Me appeals webpage.
  • The family then traveled to meet Belgian investigators to separate personal identifiers and officially identify their missing relatives.
  • He then applied to the Antwerp Family Court to have the victim’s death certificate amended to reflect his identity.

Rita Roberts’ family said in a statement:

“The news was shocking and heart-wrenching. Our passionate, loving and free-spirited little sister was brutally taken away. There are no words to truly express sadness.

“This news has been difficult to process, but we are extremely grateful that we were able to reveal what happened to Rita. We will miss her very much, but Belgium We would like to thank the Missing Persons, Antwerp Police, Interpol and Durham Police in the UK for their excellent support and care. This cross-border collaboration has helped the missing girl recover her identity and her family to know that she is at peace. I was able to know.

“Rita was a beautiful person who loved to travel. She loved her family, especially her nieces and nephews, and always wanted to have a family of her own. She had the ability to light up a room and She was the life and soul of the party wherever she went. We wish her peace wherever she is now.”

The family has asked the media not to contact them while they grieve.

Now that she has been identified, Belgian authorities are appealing to the public for information about Rita Roberts and the circumstances surrounding her death. This can be submitted via the online form on her website at INTERPOL.

“After 31 years, the name of an unidentified and murdered woman has been recovered, bringing some closure to her family. Cases like this, especially when they involve missing persons, have a profound effect on people around the world.” This highlights the critical need to bring police forces together.”
Jürgen Stock, Director General of Interpol

“We commend the Belgian, German and Dutch authorities for their leadership in the operation to identify me. That important effort continues.”

interpol black notice

“Operation Identification” was the first time Interpol released extracts from the Black Notice. These are used to seek information about unidentified bodies and determine the circumstances of death.

Black Notice includes information about where the body was found, biometric information (DNA, fingerprints, facial images), dental records, physical characteristics of the body and clothing, and other details relevant to identifying the deceased. may occur.

Since 2021, Interpol has provided investigators with a new global tool: the I-Familia database. We have already solved cases by supporting the identification of unidentified bodies through DNA kinship matching of international families. Such cases are based on voluntary DNA donations by relatives of missing persons, highlighting the role of the public and collaborators in identifying missing persons.

please identify me appeal

Operation “Operation Identify Me” continues. Members of the public, especially those who remember missing friends or family members, should visit www.INTERPOL.int/IM and, if they have information about any of the incidents, contact INTERPOL and the associated national police team. Please contact both.

If a biological relative believes that one of the deceased women may be their missing loved one, the National Police, if contacted, will work with Interpol for an international DNA comparison. can.

The contact form is located at the bottom of each online case summary.

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