New Orleans, LA

A New Orleans Woman Vanished. Then Someone Beat Her Boyfriend To Death. Where Is Rita Shaw?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Rita ShawWWLTV

44-year-old Rita Shaw lived with her mother in 4700 block of Cerise Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rita suffered from schizophrenia and had a drug addiction. Unfortunately, she and her boyfriend, Michael, often battled with drugs and alcohol.

"She had her little vices, but she was a solid person. She would give you the shirt off of her back," her brother Brian Gray told WWLTV.

Rita and Michael were known to frequent an area of New Orleans near Michael's home. Suddenly, on April 1, 2011, Rita Shaw vanished.

"I had heard that she had disappeared, and she might be dead," her mother, Natalie Shaw, told WWLTV.

Her mother rushed to the New Orleans Police Department.

"But, nobody had heard anything, and to this day, nobody still hasn't heard anything," Natalie Shaw told WWLTV.

According to WWLTV, Michael was allegedly the last person to see Rita. After her disappearance, he continued to mess with drugs and alcohol. In 2015, Michael was beaten to death in that very same area he was known to hang out.

"It wasn't a good area at all. We have no closure because your possible key witness is also deceased," Brian Gray told WWLTV.

Brian told WWLTV he tried to wait for detectives to do their job but decided to investigate Rita's death himself. Like authorities, Rita's family does not believe Michael was a suspect in the disappearance of Rita Shaw.

According to WWLTV, Rita's family feels the New Orleans Police Department has forgotten about her case.

"If you don't have a lot of money, oh yea we search, and alright bye," Brian Gray told WWLTV. "All we want to hear from the coroner's office is, 'Hey, we found the body, we think. We're doing an autopsy. We did the test on it. This is her.'"

"They just give up. You don't ever really give up," said Rita's family, reports WWLTV.

Rita has never been found.

Rita Shaw was 5'9" and weighed 220 pounds when she vanished.

If you have any information, please contact the New Orleans Police Department at 504-821-2222.

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