A 6-year-old girl was abducted from her Utah apartment more than 20 years ago. Her body was found hours later, but her killer was not.
Rosa Tapia was sleeping in her room on Aug. 13, 1995, according to Salt Lake City police. She was in her bed with her 4-year-old sibling.
Around 5:45 a.m. Tapia was reported missing from her bedroom and the window and screen were removed, according to police. Officers responded and started to search for the child.
Around 10 a.m., Tapia’s body was found by a man walking his dog, police said. Tapia was floating in a nearby canal and an autopsy showed she had been sexually assaulted before being murdered.
Tapia’s other sister, who was 18 years old at the time, said the day before the abduction a man brought Tapia to the home, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. She took the child from the man, who knew Tapia by name and said she was hurt on the playground slide.
However, Tapia said she wasn’t hurt on the slide and didn’t know how the man knew her name.
Tapia’s brother, who was 4 years old at the time, said that he saw a man he did not know in their room on the night Tapia was taken. The bearded man told him to go back to sleep, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Over the next 20 years, police have identified various people of interest in the case but have yet to say they arrested the killer. The hunt remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact (801) 799-3455.
In 2002, a person left a rock on top of Tapia’s gave with a note on it. Police said they are interested in speaking to the person who left it but have not revealed what the note said.
Tapia’s family members have tried to keep her memory alive. Tapia’s mother, Lewine Tapia, has spoken out about the case and prays the murderer can be found.
"I want to be able to look at that person and ask him face to face why he did it," she told KUTV in 2019.
In 2015, Tapia’s aunt, Louise Delgado, told KUTV the family hopes that one day they have answers.
"A lot of these crimes get solved, but this one hasn't," Delgado said, according to KUTV. "And we pray that something is going to come up."