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Police seeking out TV news footage from '95 in unsolved murder of 6-year-old girl

Police seeking out TV news footage from '95 in unsolved murder of 6-year-old girl

(KSL TV, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police say they are seeking out local TV news footage from 1995 in an attempt to find more information in the unsolved murder of 6-year-old Rosie Tapia.

A friend of Rosie's at the time told police that a man was "leering" at her and Rosie about a week before she was kidnapped from her family's Glendale apartment and killed on Aug. 13, 1995, said Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking.

The girl also told investigators that she had seen the same man being interviewed about Rosie's death on a local TV station, though she couldn't identify the station, Wilking said. She talked to police again recently about what she saw.

It's possible her original report "was something that just didn't get followed up on back then," Wilking said. He noted that it was included in a "supplemental report" filed at the time.

Investigators want to obtain footage of people interviewed in the aftermath of Rosie's death, according to Wilking, and confer with her friend about whether any of them match her memory of what the man at the park looked like.

"It's a needle in a haystack, but that's what we have to do with these investigations," the detective said. "We have to go back and recheck everything and recheck all the facts that we knew to be facts at that time and look at it again."

Rosie was abducted from her bedroom, where she had been sleeping with her sister early in the morning of Aug. 13, 1995. The kidnapping occurred at the Hartland Apartments, 1601 W. Snow Queen Place (1675 South), according to police.

"It's a pretty horrific crime, and we want to bring closure to the family and to all those involved," Wilking said. "We want to make an arrest in this and take this person off the street."

Police are also seeking the public's help identifying a black man at the Hartland Apartments who was seen emptying his garbage outside at 3 a.m. on the morning in question. The man is believed to be a "potential witness," Wilking said.

"We're hoping that individual may have seen something," he said. "We'd like to reach out and have him come forward."

Nobody has been arrested in the case.

In 2010, investigators released a composite sketch of a man believed to have carried Rosie home from a park after she had gotten hurt the night before she was kidnapped and killed. The man was described as white with a dark complexion, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with brown, medium-length hair and a thin build.

He looked roughly 30 years old and was wearing a white T-shirt, sunglasses with dark brown lenses and a ball cap with a red brim, according to police.

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call Salt Lake police at 801-799-3000.

Contributing: Paul Nelson

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