Slain 'Woman with the Flower Tattoo' ID'd 31 Years Later After Relative Recognizes Body Art

Rita Roberts was found dead in Belgium, just months after she moved to the country

<p>Interpol</p> Rita Roberts


Rita Roberts

A woman found murdered in Belgium 31 years ago has finally been identified, thanks to a distinctive tattoo.

Rita Roberts, 31, was found dead in a river in Antwerp on June 3, 1992, Interpol says in a release. For years, her identity remained a mystery, and she became known as the "woman with the flower tattoo,” until Interpol launched Operation Identify Me in May of this year.

Roberts was a British national who moved from Cardiff, Wales, to Antwerp in February 1992, and her family last heard from her in May, the month before she was found dead.

Following the launch of Operation Identify Me, which aims to solve cold cases across Europe, Interpol says it received over 1,000 tips, one of them from a relative of Roberts in the United Kingdom, who saw the picture of her tattoo — a black flower and green leaves with “R’Nick” written underneath.

Roberts’ family then traveled to Belgium to formally identify her.

“The news was shocking and heartbreaking,” Roberts’ family says in a statement published by Interpol. “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.”

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The family also thanked Interpol and Belgian authorities for their work in identifying Roberts.

“Rita was a beautiful person who adored traveling,” the statement continues. “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.”

Now that Roberts has been identified, Interpol is seeking information about who killed her. Tips can be submitted on the agency’s website.

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