PODCAST: Mother still searches for answers in missing daughter’s case

February marked LaQuanta Riley’s 38th birthday. For her mother, Pam Bolden, it was another day searching for answers.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2023 at 9:00 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - February marked LaQuanta Riley’s 38th birthday. For her mother, Pam Bolden, it was another day searching for answers.

“Where is LaQuanta? What has happened?” Bolden said.

Since 2003, Bolden’s been asking herself these questions repeatedly on an unsettling journey searching for her missing daughter. She was last seen in Montgomery at her great-aunt’s house and mother’s home. Riley was 19 at the time she disappeared.

“The last time I spoke to her was the night that I believed she disappeared,” Bolden said.

The night she went missing, LaQuanta returned to a family member’s home. Her brother saw her and asked how she got there because he knew his sister didn’t have a car or a cell phone.

“She replied, a friend she met around the street….that’s one of the things I know that’s certain,” Bolden said. “I believe that she didn’t know the person that she was trusting.”

Riley’s brother looked out the window and said he saw a green car parked outside, waiting. His sister took off and left, and they never saw her again.

Weeks went by, and her mother began what would turn into a decades-long search for Riley. Bolden filed a police report, started hanging up flyers, and did whatever she could to find her daughter. And then, she received a cryptic voicemail. She believes it was LaQuanta, and she said a man could be heard in the background. She believes LaQuanta was taken against her will.

[MORE: Reward in 17-year missing person case increases]

“She is distraught on here. She’s asking for help; I don’t know what she’s saying. She’s crying so hard,” Bolden said.

Bolden said she gave the recording and other evidence to the Montgomery Police Department and claimed the evidence disappeared. WSFA 12 News reached out to MPD about these allegations and Riley’s case, but they declined to comment.

“Some things that should have been done in my case were not done. Some things that could have been done in my case were not done,” Bolden said.

Some of the things Bolden mentioned were impossible to do in 2003, but she hopes new technology, new leads, and a new detective will be the keys to cracking this case.

“We’re hoping that the cold case unit will be able to do a thorough investigation,” Bolden said. “That’s all we’re really asking for is a thorough investigation.”

In the meantime, Bolden has been busy. The past years have been challenging. Not only is her daughter still missing, she recently buried her son, one of the last people who saw Riley alive. Even with her grief. She has to move forward and do what’s best for her family.

Bolden meets with lawmakers and local officials, shares her story, and supports other families of missing loved ones.

“I do this because there was help from other people that allowed me to be here today,” Bolden said, “I’ve had help in Montgomery but I’ve also had help all across the country from New York, Texas, you name it. So, I’ll be there to help others, the best way I know how.”

Bolden says she will continue to do this until the case is closed.

Anyone with information on the LaQuanta Riley case can call Central Alabama Crimestoppers at 215-STOP. There is an $11,000 reward in this case.

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