As a high school student, LaQuanta Nachelle Riley was an honors student. The wiz kid received a full scholarship to college and had plans to study forensic science and criminal justice. She wasn’t a problematic teen with tendencies to wander off without telling her family, so when she disappeared, her loved ones were baffled.
When LaQuanta was born, her mother was just a teenager. LaQuanta’s aunt took on the responsibility of raising her, but LaQuanta’s mother was an active part of her life. The 19-year-old had five younger siblings, one of whom passed away in the mid-1990s, and was known to be a vibrant young woman.
In 2003, LaQuanta was living in Eufaula, Alabama with a roommate until she decided to leave during the Thanksgiving season. She returned to the apartment on December 5 to retrieve the remainder of her belongings, but something occurred that upset her. She telephoned her mother to ask for a ride to Montogomery, Alabama where her mother resided, but her mother said that she couldn’t at that time. LaQuanta made more calls for help and eventually moved in with her aunt and her cousin in Montogomery.
Two days later, around 11:30 p.m., LaQuanta walked out of her home and got into a four-door, dark green vehicle described as being a Ford Taurus or Chevrolet Caprice. She was taken to her mother’s house just three miles away where she got out and met her brother at the door. Before grabbing a jacket, LaQuanta’s brother asked her who was in the vehicle because he didn’t recognize the car. She didn’t give him a name, but she did say it was a friend that she met in the neighborhood. LaQuanta left her purse and money behind, got back into the vehicle, and hasn’t been seen since.
Three days later, LaQuanta’s mother reported her missing and told police that a mysterious call was left answering machine. The message was difficult to decipher, but the young woman on the line, who LaQuanta’s mother believes was her daughter, said “leave me alone” or “let me go home.” Then, a man can be heard in the background saying LaQuanta’s name before the call ends.
Investigators looked into a LaQuanta’s name being used to rent an apartment in the area of Stone Mountain, Georgia. LaQuanta’s mother took it upon herself to follow the lead and visited the apartment complex. She talked to a person living in the complex and they told her that LaQuanta had lived down the hall. According to the man, the teen came to his apartment and asked to use his phone after she seemed to have gotten into an argument with someone. Unfortunately, the neighbor claimed that LaQuanta moved out of the apartment just days before her mother came knocking on his door.
At the time of her disappearance, LaQuanta was 5 foot 8 inches tall and 200 pounds. She’s described as having black hair and brown eyes. She has piercings in both ears and one in her tongue. LaQuanta also has two noticeable tattoos: “RIP Mesha” is on one arm and her first name is on the other. She goes by the nicknames Quanna or Quanta.
Anyone with information on this 16-year-old case is urged to contact the Montgomery Police Department at (334) 625-2810. Please share her story to reignite the investigation into the disappearance of LaQuanta Nachelle Riley. She is our sister and her life matters.