3News Special Report: Cold Case - Elisa Roberson

Countless hours and resources were spent on trying to locate Elisa. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children even released a picture of what Roberson could look like as an adult.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - It's many parents worst fear -a young girl walking to meet a childhood friend goes missing, never to be seen or heard from again.  Her name was Blanca Roberson, but she was known to her family and friends as Elisa.  She was just 13 years old back in 1989 when she vanished without a trace from her Aransas Pass neighborhood.  To this date, 28 years later, her disappearance remains a mystery.

Aransas Pass resident, Elva Fuentes said, "when we hear about it, we still pray there will be closure."
It was one of those cases that stunned an entire community.  Fuentes, "that changed everything around here."

The day was Sunday, August 6th, 1989.  Elva Fuentes remembers it like it was yesterday.  "By the time school started, they were calling out names, I remember they called her name.  She was going to be in my son, Brian's room and everybody just looked at each other, and some were even crying because they knew she disappeared, "said Fuentes.

Aransas Pass Police Captain Kyle Rhodes said, "the way the initial report came in, she was going to meet a friend to have a sleepover, and she never met at the meeting point which was the local elementary school."

The last place Elisa was ever seen was at the corner of Greenwood and South Whitney.  A police report cites a neighbor spotting the girl walking and stopping to speak with her.

Elisa is one of four siblings. Her sister Ruby Messerli was only 12 when her big sister disappeared.  "She was the protective one.  She was the one watching over.  A big sister, watching over the little ones, making sure we were being taken care of, " said Ruby Roberson Messerli. 28 years later, she still recalls the last day she saw Elisa.

Ruby Roberson Messerli said, "I do remember my mom saying it was getting late and would probably need to stay home, but she talked my mom into allowing her to go back out.  She was going to go meet another friend of ours."

Despite the passage of time, for her, it's something that is still difficult to talk about Ruby Roberson Messerli said, "I know if I go back to that, it always opens the door to me going to a place that's not a very pleasant place."

Elisa would've been 41 years old.

A memorial plaque now sits outside of Kieberger Elementary School.  It's the spot where Elisa was supposed to meet her friend.

Aransas Pass Police Captain, Kyle Rhodes hopes to one day solve Roberson's case.  "There were a lot of leads that came in.  A lot of them we checked out.  Many of them dispelled as rumors, and so forth, " said Rhodes.

Countless hours and resources were spent on trying to locate Elisa.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children even released a picture of what Roberson could look like as an adult.

Still, the young girl nor her body have ever been found.  The case went cold, but then in the summer of 2016, police were aided by Texas EquuSearch, and the investigation took a new approach.

New technology allowed them to go back to the beginning.

Capt. Rhodes said, "one of the things we were able to bring in, was ground penetrating radar we were able to use.  That was able to shed some new light on this case."

Roberson's childhood home was one of the locations that became an active search site.

Capt. Rhodes said, "we explored some areas mentioned in the initial reports, with the technology, and with dogs, we actually cleared a field with a back hoe, and did a lot of pre extensive searching.  I believe we've moved this case forward in a lot of ways."

Capt. Rhodes wasn't ready to release those findings to us, but he believes he is close to finding out the truth.

"I do, I have faith, I think we're getting close, I'm at a cold point right now, I am pretty confident we will reach a successful conclusion to it and find out what happened to this girl," said Rhodes.

We asked Elisa's sister Ruby if she believes there will be closure.

"I go back and forth. I sometimes do, and I think eventually sometime, somehow, but then I know the reality of it is, there are cases that are never solved, and I just have to have peace with that."

If you have information on this case, contact the Aransas Pass PD Investigations Division or submit a tip anonymously via Tri-County Crime Stoppers at (800) 245-TIPS/8477 or online at TCCS Online Tip Form. You could earn up to $1000.00 for your tip in this case.

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