Ohio woman’s mother among serial killer Little’s known victims

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Mother Roberta Tondarich with her daughter, Tonya Maslar. Tondarich is among 50 women who have been confirmed as murder victims of serial killer Samuel Little, who claims to have killed 93 women, including an unidentified woman in Fort Myers back in 1984. Credit: Photo shared with WINK News.

Roberta Tondarich is one of serial killer Samuel Little’s victims. She is among 93 women Little has told law enforcement agencies across the country he has murdered.

Roberta was identified by investigators based on a sketch Little drew of her, as he has drawn for all his victims.

We spoke to Roberta’s daughter, who lives in Ohio, and got the latest from the FBI on the investigation.

Back in 1991, Little left Roberta for dead in the woods of Akron, Ohio. Her daughter still wonders how she died.

“Every time I’ve seen someone that looked like my mom, it made me think maybe she just left me and my sister,” Tonya Maslar told WINK News about her mother, Roberta. “You know, ‘This isn’t real.’ So it kind of played games with my head.”

Akron police put an end to those head games 28 years later. Detectives told Tonya that Little confessed to killing a woman in Akron in 1991. His story matched Roberta’s case.

Investigators showed Tonya the sketch.

“I looked at him and told him that was my mom,” Tonya said.

The FBI has verified 50 of Little’s confessed murders out of the 93 he has claimed to have committed. Roberta Tondarich is among those victims who are confirmed.

Now, investigators are trying to close out the rest of the cases, including identifying a woman Little says he strangled to death in Fort Myers in 1984.

“It will always be an open investigation up until the point that we have matched every confession and identified every victim,” said Christie Palazzolo with the FBI’s violent criminal apprehension program.

As for Tonya, she had a message to share with us directed at Little.

“He said in his interviews that his victims were not important to their families. He took victims who weren’t important,” Tonya said. “I would tell him that my mother was important to our family.”

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