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Who Killed Rita Roy? New Details About The Decades-Old Unsolved Murder Of New Hampshire Woman

Who Killed Rita Roy? New Details About The Decades-Old Unsolved Murder Of New Hampshire Woman

When police investigate a murder, the first 48 hours are crucial for collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and putting all the puzzle pieces together. Unfortunately, sometimes a case can turn cold, and over the weeks, months, years, and even decades, all hope seems lost. For family and friends, the lack of closure and all the unanswered questions seem daunting, and can stick with the mforever.

Who killed Rita Roy? It’s a question that’s plagued investigators for almost three decades now.

Rita Roy, 69, was murdered on May 20, 1991 in Manchester, New Hampshire. On that day, police responded to a call that someone was stabbed in a parking garage. When they arrived at the scene, they found Roy on the ground, suffering from multiple stab wounds. Though she was rushed to the hospital, she passed away.

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Police investigated her murder for several months, attempting to find the perpetrator, but never made any arrests. To this day, the case remains unsolved.

But that doesn’t mean she’s been forgotten. Just recently, NBC News and Dateline called attention to the unsolved case, providing details in an effort to find the murderer.

It turns out, the day she was murdered was also the day she was set to receive an award for her volunteer work. According to her grandson, Jeff Furlotte, Rita was going to accept the award alone, and then celebrate with her family over the weekend.

She drove into town and searched for parking near the event, and made her way up to the fourth floor. Said Detective Lucas Hobbs of the Manchester Police Department, “On that particular day, there were several other shows and events going on, so parking was very, very tight and limited. So she had to go up to the fourth floor to finally find a place to park.”

Rita finally parked her car and walked towards the elevator, but she never made it. She stumbled away from the elevator, collapsed, and, a few minutes later, was discovered bleeding by a woman who exited the elevator. Police and an ambulance were called immediately, but she died of her injuries at the hospital.

“She’s standing, waiting to get on the elevator when she’s attacked. You have your high-risk victims, your low-risk and your no-risk victim, which make up about two percent of crimes. And she was your no-risk victim, violently murdered,” said Detective Hobbs.

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“And then, after being stabbed multiple times, she exits the vestibule and tries to get back out onto the upper level of the parking deck... When police got there — I can’t stress the amount of people who were at these events — they interviewed hundreds of people and they all provided a description of someone who seemed suspicious. The description was of a white male, between 35 and 45 years old, 5’8” to 6’3”, slim build and wearing glasses,” he continued.

Police released a sketch of the suspect just two days later, and though the attention gave her family hope they would find out what happened, they never quite got that far.

According to Detective Hobbs, police interviewed hundreds of people, traveling around New England and going door to door to find clues and witnesses. The investigation continued for three months, but with no leads, police and family began to suspect that it was a stranger who may have gotten off a bus, stabbed Rita, and left town. The bus station was located right next to the parking garage.  “Policing back in 1991 was much different than it is now. For the most part, solving a homicide was really just eyewitnesses and confessions,” he revealed.

Unfortunately, the case is now cold. There was no surveillance videos, eyewitnesses, or cellphones, and 28 years later, there are no suspects or persons of interest.

But Detective Hobbs is hopeful: “The hope is that with changes in technology, changes in techniques, the invention of Parabon — there’s still a whole lot that can be done.”

And for Rita’s family, they continue to remember her. Said her grandson, Jeff, “She was always there. We spent a lot of weekends with her, just cooking breakfast and sleeping over — typical grandmother stuff. She was a very giving person. She never made a big fuss about too much. She wasn’t all about pomp and circumstance.”

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.