MP of the week: Heather Riggio

This week’s featured missing person is Heather Marie Riggio, a 20-year-old woman missing from North Miami Beach, Florida since May 6, 2007 — nine years.

Heather had a troubled life prior to her disappearance; she was seeing a married man and she was involved with drugs, prostitution, and, far more disturbingly, human trafficking. I don’t know whether that means she herself had been trafficked (that, forced into prostitution) or whether she merely associated with known traffickers, or even whether she actually was implicated in trafficking cases. In any case, not good. She has a criminal charge pending against her for felony drug possession.

I doubt this young woman is still alive. It seems like she would have resurfaced, or at least called home, if she could have.

16 thoughts on “MP of the week: Heather Riggio

  1. Melinda August 23, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Meaghan. I can’t believe 2007 was nine years ago…holy cow! Time really flies.

    Anyway, I’m from Miami and I can tell you that it is VERY shady here. A lot of women wind up in the sex trade because it’s hard to find employment unless you know the right people, have all the necessary qualifications, and you’re fluent in Spanish.
    Florida in general can be a dangerous place but tourists often mistakenly believe it’s a “paradise” because of the hot weather and the beaches.

    I wonder if Heather is indeed still living or not. Hopefully she is and she is safe…but she was caught up in a high-risk lifestyle when she vanished, so who knows?
    She had some interesting eyebrows, though!

    • michael August 24, 2016 / 6:43 am

      I love every state, but Florida can make it difficult at times.

      Well, I just finished reading the Maura Murray book, which was the 3rd consecutive missing persons book I have read (after Etan Patz and Jacob Wetterling). Very well done book despite the swearing, loads of extraneous and off-topic info and grammatical nightmares. Anyways, James Renner did a good job overall (I’ve exchanged e-mails with him before). He’s a very persistent researcher that left no stone unturned and put himself in peril numerous times to try and get answers. I knew from the moment I first became familiar with the case that there was more to the story and that “All-American, pretty, young and smart Maura” was a façade and that she was really a troubled young woman who caused numerous car accidents, is/was a kleptomaniac and pathological liar and an alcoholic. Fred (Maura’s father) and Maura’s other family members as well as her friends frequently lie and evade and Renner does a good job of exposing them, calling them out for being untruthful and lazy when the normal person would be hunting high and low for their missing loved one. The book is a great read, filled with “holy cow” moments, interesting nuggets of info and laugh out loud moments. Recommended.

      I’ve ordered “Mother’s Day” off Amazon, which will be my next missing person’s book that I will read. Although Sheila and Suesan Knorr are no longer missing (and hardly anyone even knew they were missing when they were), what happened to them was utterly horrifying. What their own mother Theresa put them through literally made me cringe. In the case of Suesan, she was shot, stabbed, frequently and severely beaten, prostituted (while underage), and lit on fire (while still alive). And that’s just for starters. 😦 Theresa Knorr is a sick, sick woman and I’m outraged that she still continues to have a life while all 3 of her daughters are dead (two of them at her hands).

      • Melinda August 24, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        I’m intrigued about Maura Murray too, Michael…thanks for sharing your opinion of the book. I’ll have to check it out.

        I read the book about Theresa Knorr many years ago and yes, it was a very tragic case. Some people really shouldn’t have children and Theresa is one of them.

        Back to Florida…yeah, we have some good things here like first-class shopping, dining, activities, etc.
        But sadly we also have a reputation for a lot of bad things too. Miami is my hometown, though, for better or worse! 🙂

  2. Melinda August 24, 2016 / 6:36 pm

    Meaghan…sorry to be off-topic and I apologize if you’ve already covered this, but could you please do a post on the Springfield Three?
    I’ve been really interested in this case lately and I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.

    • Meaghan August 24, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      Asking me to write about another case is not OT. OT is something like, say, judgmental ranting about my personal life and making incorrect assumptions about my relationship with my boyfriend and basically accusing me of being a leech.

      • Melinda August 24, 2016 / 10:01 pm

        LOL, Meaghan, you’re too much! 🙂 I’m not that kind of person so no need to worry. You’re in good company.
        And try not to take it personally when people do that…it says much more about them than it does about you. Trust me, people judge me ALL the time. You can’t please everyone.

        But yes, I would be so happy if you could share your thoughts on that particular case. I’m not sure why but it really interests me all of a sudden.
        I’ve been reading about it like crazy and there are so many possible theories as to who did it and what happened.
        I’ve even seen people arguing about it on other websites.

  3. Lauren August 24, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    Hi Meaghan the “find Heather Riggio” page link goes to NBC news. Not sure if you knew. Thank you for picking this case. This is interesting. I hope we don’t end up finding her in the UID section of NAMUS. It would be nice to someday read a resolved article with an update about her being successful and happy these last 7 years and that she’s just been hiding from her past all this time. I guess one can dream right? 🙂

    • Lauren August 24, 2016 / 10:55 pm

      Sorry correction – 9 years.

  4. michael August 24, 2016 / 11:40 pm

    Your welcome Melinda! Did you see Roger Ellison was this week’s Select-It-Sunday? There was a lot of discussion about it.

    • Melinda August 25, 2016 / 9:32 am

      No Michael, I don’t believe I did. But I think I remember reading a few of the comments. Was he from Colorado? I think I remember that, but I could be wrong. My mind is a bit fuzzy lately from lack of sleep.

  5. Lucrezia August 25, 2016 / 5:05 am

    I am joining Melinda in asking you to please share your thoughts about the Springfield three

  6. michael August 25, 2016 / 2:27 pm

    Yes Melinda, Roger was a skier from Colorado.

    I have the Springfield Three on an episode of Disappeared I recorded, but damned if I can remember anything about it, other than they went missing, their house was disturbed and foul play was suspected. I understand that’s not particularly helpful.

    Weird moment as I came on to this site today and the Missing Person of the week was Heather Riggio, yet it showed a picture of an Asian man.

    Anybody familiar with the Madalyn Murray O’hair disappearances? She vanished with her son John and granddaughter Robin. Their bodies were found long ago (before Charley even began), but it’s a rather (in)famous case that’s been profiled on a lot of true crime shows. She was the president of American Atheists and upset a lot of people by getting prayer banned in schools. She was outspoken and frequently rude, but made for good entertainment in a lot of the exchanges she would get in with people. What happened to her and her relatives throughout the years (culminating in their murders) was utterly tragic.

    • Melinda August 25, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      @ Michael…it is a very bizarre case, the Springfield Three. Two girls (and the mother of one of them) vanished from a home only a few hours after their high school graduation in 1992. To this day, they have never been seen again and no one is certain about what happened, other than plenty of speculation and rumors.
      Their names were Sherrill Levitt, Suzanne Streeter and Stacy McCall. I have my own theories but I will reserve my comments on the case until Meaghan decides to get the discussion going.

      Yes, I have heard of the case you refer to. She was quite a controversial figure, especially for her time.
      I am also atheist but most people don’t know this until they start preaching at me. 🙂

  7. Stephanie Jimenez August 25, 2016 / 3:15 pm

    Hi Megan! Can you write something about Elizabeth Laguna Salgado? She has been missing since April 2015 and it hits very close to home. There is very little about her case.

  8. Aire August 26, 2016 / 7:04 am

    Why did they make an age progression for her? There’s none to very little difference between your looks when you’re 20 and 23. I can understand if they did one of her as a 30 year old compared to when she was last seen as a 20 yr old, or with missing toddlers and kids I can understand how a 3 year difference in looks can be vital but 20’s? No.

    • michael w. August 26, 2016 / 8:43 am

      That’s a good point Aire, though I tend to think most age progressions probably wouldn’t look much at all like the person (assuming they lived). The number of people who waste their bodies away through drugs, excessive drinking and the like is quite high and can cause people to look older than they are. (Not saying the MP’s on here would necessarily fit that description, but just in general.) I am always amazed at how people can destroy their bodies. Plus, in the case of voluntarily disappearances, they can alter their bodies in many ways. Add/lose weight, tattoos, change hair color, etc. Take Vicke Lee Lamberton for example. She has 6 pictures on here, and none of them look anything like the others. It’s like looking at 6 different women. I actually read somewhere that Vicke, if she is still alive, might try to be passing herself off as an African-American woman.

      I understand people are just trying to help, but I think age-progressions are one big crapshoot.

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