Mother hopes Utah police find killer in child’s 1995 murder

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah mother has spoken out days after the 24th anniversary of her child’s death saying she still hopes to look her daughter’s killer in the face one day, a report said.

Rosie Tapia, 6, was raped and killed after being abducted from her family’s Salt Lake City apartment in August 1995, KUTV-TV reported Thursday.

The girl’s body was discovered hours later floating in a canal off the Jordan River, authorities said. The killer was never found.

Her mother, Lewine Tapia struggled to travel to the cemetery this year because of unknown injuries in a recent fall, but she wants the chance to face the unknown killer before she dies, officials said.

“I want to be able to look at that person and ask him face to face why he did it,” Tapia said.

A neighbor, who claims he saw a young man coming from the direction of the canal the night Rosie was abducted, said he never received police attention, the newspaper reported.

The neighbor reached out years later to the Cold Case Coalition, who created a sketch of a potential suspect based on his account, officials said. That sketch was released to the public in May.

According to tips sent to the Coalition, the group believes the man in the sketch lives in the Salt Lake valley, officials said.

That information was sent to the Salt Lake City Police Department, but the Tapia family is unsure if authorities have acted on the new information, the newspaper reported.

We cannot release details about the case, but the community could help by sending tips directly to authorities, said Detective Greg Wilking, spokesman for the police department.

This case “haunts” detectives, who want to find Rosie’s killer, but it is difficult investigating a case from two decades ago, authorities said.

Written by CRISTINA FLORES, Associated Press.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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