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31 Years Later: Victim of Arson, Theft, and Forced Prostitution Identified as Rita Roberts, Murdered in Deurne


Nov 20, 2023

Last week, the body of Rita Roberts was finally identified after it was discovered in the Groot Schijn river in Deurne in June 1992. Rita, a 31-year-old woman from Cardiff, Wales, had moved to Antwerp four months earlier. The public prosecutor’s office reported that Rita had been violently killed, though the exact details are unclear.

The British tabloid newspaper, The Daily Mail, made an effort to contact Rita’s relatives to provide more information. According to the newspaper, Rita had a troubled past and was on the run at the time of her murder. Court reports from 1983 showed that Rita had lost her way at the age of 22, and her criminal record included charges of arson, prostitution, theft, and extortion.

Rita fled to Belgium in February 1992 with her younger sister’s passport to escape a prison sentence she was facing. Her brother, Jason, mentioned that when Rita previously lived in Belgium, she had been forced to work in prostitution until Tony went to get her back. Regardless of her troubles, Rita returned to Antwerp, where her lifeless body was found four months later.

Her family, who described Rita as a “passionate, loving, and free-spirited young woman,” stopped receiving postcards from her after May 1992. They feared the worst when they lost contact with her. Attempts to find her and fear that she was among the fatalities of a plane crash further troubled her family.

This unsettling news brings mixed emotions to Rita’s family. They describe it as “shocking and heartbreaking,” but also feel a sense of relief to finally have closure. The case remains unresolved, and authorities have appealed for anyone with information about Rita to contact investigators. The public is urged to report any clues to the police.

By Editor

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