“Where is LaQuanta? What has happened?”
These are the questions that Pam Bolden has been asking herself for nearly two decades about her daughter, LaQuanta Riley.
“The last time I spoke to her was the night that I believed she disappeared,” Bolden told WSFA-TV.
Around 11:30 p.m. on December 7, 2003, Riley stopped by her mother’s home in Montgomery, Alabama, to retrieve a jacket. The 19-year-old teen saw her brother, who asked how she got there knowing she did not have a vehicle or phone.
“She replied a friend she met around the street,” Bolden told WSFA-TV. “That’s one of the things I know that’s certain. I believe that she didn’t know the person that she was trusting.”
With the jacket in hand, the teen got in an awaiting vehicle, which the brother described as a dark green four-door sedan, potentially a Chevrolet Caprice or Ford Taurus.
After three days passed without hearing from Riley, Bolden reported her daughter missing. The teen’s purse was left behind, including money inside of it, AL.com reports.
Today marks 18 years since Laquanta Riley went missing.
"…Out of sight does not mean out of mind for the families of missing children, it’s burned in our minds and hearts. You can’t shake this.” Pam Riley, mother to LaQuanta Rileyhttps://t.co/7YUKUhxvLG pic.twitter.com/rT46seLzpM
— National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (@MissingKids) December 7, 2021
At some point following the December 7 visit – what could have been several days or weeks – Bolden says she received a call on her answering machine that she suspects was from her daughter. It was difficult to hear the message clearly, but Bolden believes a voice in the recording says “leave me alone” or “let me go home.” A male voice then utters Riley’s name and the line gets disconnected.
“She is distraught on here. She’s asking for help. I don’t know what she’s saying. She’s crying so hard,” Bolden told WSFA-TV.
Bolden also learned that Riley’s name had been used to rent an apartment in Stone Mountain, Georgia, the same city where the teen graduated high school, according to the Charley Project. Bolden reportedly spoke with someone who lived in the apartment building and showed him a photograph of her daughter. That person is said to have confirmed that Riley was living on the property and had even asked to use his phone because of some sort of argument.
However, the man reportedly told Bolden that Riley just moved out days earlier.
Riley, who went by the nicknames Quanna and Quanta, would turn 39 years old in February 2023. Growing up, she was a vivacious and empathetic person who loved cooking and music, including playing the clarinet, which she performed in middle and high school, according to the Charley Project. Riley was an honors student in high school and had earned a full scholarship for college, where she planned to study criminal justice.
Bolden is urging law enforcement to continue looking into her daughter’s disappearance and believes a renewed effort using new technology could make a difference.
“We’re hoping that the cold case unit will be able to do a thorough investigation,” Bolden told WSFA-TV. “That’s all we’re really asking for is a thorough investigation.”
At the time she went missing, Riley was wearing a yellow and green Ecko shirt, yellow and green Reebok sneakers, stonewashed blue jeans and a silver chain bracelet. She was 5-foot-8 and around 200 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and a scar on her nose.
In addition to piercings on her ears and tongue, Riley has multiple tattoos: “RIP Mesha” or “Rest in Peace Mesha” are tattooed on one bicep, while her first name, LaQuanta, is tattooed on the other bicep.
An $11,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to solving the case. To report information about Riley’s disappearance, call Central Alabama CrimeStoppers at 334-215-STOP (7867).
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[Featured image: LaQuanta Riley (left) and what she may look like today with age progression (right)/National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]