25 years after abduction, 6-year-old Rosie Tapia's murder remains unsolved

Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of Rosie Tapia's abduction, rape, and murder--a case that has yet to be solved. (Photo: Tapia family)

Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of Rosie Tapia's abduction, rape and murder--a case that has yet to be solved.

The 6-year-old girl was kidnapped during the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 1995, at her family's Salt Lake apartment near Redwood Road and 1700 South.

Her family called police after they discovered she was missing and a massive search ensued.

Tapia's body was later found floating in a canal off the Jordan River near 1900 South 1600 West on the same day she was taken.

According to police, a neighbor claimed he was up early and saw a teenager coming from the same direction as the canal. At first, he thought the teen was wearing pants with two different colors, but then realized the pants were wet, a press release stated.

Last year, police released a sketch of a possible suspect which was based on Tapia's neighbor's recollection. It was created after efforts by the Cold Case Coalition, a private group, formed to help solve the Tapia case and other cold cases.

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The witness described the teenager as a 16- or 17-year-old Hispanic boy who had a slight build and a narrow face with high cheekbones. He was seen wearing denim jeans, a white shirt, and a medium length gold chain.

The witness had previously been in contact with the Salt Lake City Police Department but didn't sit down with a sketch artist. Police released a sketch of a potential suspect before this 2019 sketch. That man was never identified.

Lewine Tapia, Rosie's mother ,and co-founders of the Utah Cold Case Coalition discussed the investigation on Wednesday and a new project that seeks to identify unidentified bodies in Utah.

"A lot of these crimes get solved, but this one hasn't," Louise Delgado, Tapia's aunt, told 2News in 2015.

And we pray that something is going to come up.

Agonizing days turned to months, turned to years, and now to decades. Over the years, police leads have surfaced, been investigated and withered.

Tapia's brother told 2News in 2015 that he saw a man he did not know in their room the night Tapia was taken. Robert said the man had a beard, and told him to go back to sleep.

"I want to be able to look at that person and ask him face to face why he did it," Lewine Tapia, Rosie's mom, told 2News in 2019.

Anyone with information about Tapia's abduction and murder is asked to contact police.