Mystery over murder deepens 31 years after the body was found

  • Ms Roberts body was found dumped in the Het Groot Schijn river in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 3, 1992. 

The mystery around a British woman murdered in Amsterdam 31-years-ago deepens as an old school friend has come forward with new information. 

31-year-old Rita Roberts, know as the ‘woman with the flower tattoo’, was violently killed and her body was dumped in the Het Groot Schijn river in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 3, 1992.

However, she remained nameless for over three decades until an international appeal for information from Interpol lead to her identification this year because of her distinctive flower tattoo. 

Now an unnamed person has come forward saying they were told she drown in a canal in Amsterdam thirty years ago. 

‘I was confused to see the stories about Rita because I was told she had drowned in a canal in Amsterdam 30 years ago,’ the school friend told the Mirror.

‘I got on with my life not thinking anything other than it was a tragedy. 

‘I don’t know why this has only come out now.’

Pictured: 31-year-old Rita Roberts, know as the 'woman with the flower tattoo', was violently killed and her body was dumped in the Het Groot Schijn river in Antwerp, Belgium, on June 3, 1992

Her distinctive flower tattoo was what her family recognised 31 years after she went missing

This friend is now working with the police to see if it will help catch Ms Roberts killer.  

Ms Roberts had moved there from Cardiff and her last known correspondence was a postcard sent home in May 1992. 

When an appeal to uncover her identity began in May this year, detectives described her as being aged between 20 and 50 years old, around 170cm in height and of a stout build.

She had light-skin and had mid-length dark hair, and was wearing a t-shirt and dark blue Adidas training trousers.

Pictured: The clothes Ms Roberts was wearing when she was found in the river

Ms Roberts was wearing dark DAG trainers with distinctive neon details in a size 40 when she was found

One of her family members recognised her distinctive tattoo on the news and they travelled to Belgium to formally identify her. 

‘The news was shocking and heartbreaking,’ they said in a statement. ‘Our passionate, loving and free-spirited sister was cruelly taken away.

‘There are no words to truly express the grief we felt at that time, and still feel today.

‘Whilst the news has been difficult to process, we are incredibly grateful to have uncovered what happened to Rita.’

They continued: ‘This cross-border collaboration has given a missing girl back her identity, and enabled the family to know she is at rest,’ they said.

‘Rita was a beautiful person who adored travelling. She loved her family, especially her nephews and nieces, and always wanted to have a family of her own.

‘She had the ability to light up a room, and wherever she went, she was the life and soul of the party. We hope that wherever she is now, she is at peace.’

The discovery of Ms Roberts identity was part of a new programme called ‘Identify Me’, launched earlier this year to solve cold cases going back forty years. 

Anyone with information can get in touch through the Interpol website. 


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