ORLANDO, Fla. — The soulful sound of the “Roberts Sisters” singing group echo throughout Lolita Rowe’s Orlando home, but the group is no longer complete.
One voice has been silent for 25 years — their older sister, LaTonya Roberts.
What You Need To Know
- LaTonya Roberts was last seen by family on December 16, 1994, at Oak Ridge High School
- Her car was found days later outside the former Heroes nightclub in Eatonville
- Orange County detectives are using new technology for clues to find Roberts
“LaTonya had a beautiful smile, beautiful smile and she was always smiling,” Lolita Roberts Rowe said.
LaTonya was last seen watching Lolita perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at an Oak Ridge High Basketball game on December 16, 1994.
LaTonya Roberts and her sisters Lolita and Leslie. (Photo courtesy of Lolita Rowe)
“We sat on the bleachers, watch the game for a little bit, she stated she was going to leave and go to her boyfriend’s house,” Rowe said.
Hours later they spoke again over the phone.
"She said she was going to go out to a club called Heroes at the time in Eatonville,” Rowe said.
LaTonya never came home that Friday night. After not hearing from her on Saturday, her sisters called LaTonya’s boyfriend on Sunday.
“He said she’s not home. I haven’t seen your sister, she’s not here...we started to worry because we know that something had happened,” Rowe said.
LaTonya Roberts vanished. Lolita says the family had concerns, calling LaTonya’s relationship with her boyfriend at the time "rocky".
Days later, her father found LaTonya’s car near the club – and a potential clue.
“My sister was 4’10”, she was very short, all of us are very short. She drove with a cushion in the seat of the car. When they found the car, the cushion was in the passenger side and that seat was pulled all the way back,” Rowe said.
Sergeant Gloria Morris is bringing fresh eyes to this decades-old investigation, focusing their attention now on a person of interest.
“We have since talked with people from the club and nobody, according to the interviews, nobody remembered seeing her there,” Morris said.
When asked whether there was reason to believe there was foul play, Morris replied: “I believe so yes, just listening to this family, knowing the history the habits of this young lady, she is not someone who would have driven away or walked away.”
Morris says they are also taking a second look at some details of the case with modern technology, with hopes of uncovering the truth.
Still the Roberts sisters wait, holding onto hope that one day Latonya will come home.
“I’m holding onto hope that she is still alive, I’m holding onto that smile of hers,” Rowe said.
Detectives have yet to name that person of interest or any suspects in this case.
Investigators tell us they are still looking to question anyone who may have seen or spoken with LaTonya the night she went missing.
If you have any information, call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).