A woman found murdered 31 years ago in a river in Belgium has been identified over three decades later thanks to her flower tattoo and an international appeal, Interpol said on Tuesday.
The Lyon-based global police organisation said she was Rita Roberts, a British national.
Rita Roberts, found lying against a grate in a river in Antwerp on June 3, 1992, had a tattoo of a black flower with green leaves and the inscription “R’Nick” on her right forearm.
“A family member in the United Kingdom recognised the tattoo on the news and notified Interpol and Belgian authorities,” it said in a statement.
The breakthrough followed an international appeal on Interpol’s Identify Me web page where police share previously confidential information about unsolved cases hoping for input from the public.
Thanks to the page, launched in May this year, 22 women found dead in recent decades in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have been identified, Interpol said.
IDENTIFIED: ‘The woman with the flower tattoo’ has been named as Rita Roberts after 31 years.
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) November 14, 2023
Information volunteered had also allowed other cold cases to make progress.
Rita Roberts had now been “formally identified” by her family who travelled to Belgium to meet with investigators.
“Whilst the news has been difficult to process, we are incredibly grateful to have uncovered what happened to Rita,” the family was quoted in the statement as saying.
Belgian police hope for further input from the public to clear up the circumstances of Roberts’ violent death, Interpol said.
Interpol is an inter-governmental organisation for police cooperation between its 195 member countries.
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