SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – The leads are promising and could lead to an arrest in a 22-year old murder according to a coalition.
The group was formed to help the Tapia family solve the 1995 murder of Rosie. Salt Lake City police said the six-year old was abducted, sexually assaulted and her body was dumped into a surplus canal near 1500 West and 1700 South.
“We believe we have information about this individual but we have to compare it to something,” said Karra Porter, a private attorney and a member of the coalition.
Porter was holding up a composite at a news conference Monday. It was held in the apartment complex where Rosie was taken. The composite first came out seven years ago, But nearly 15-years after Rosie was abducted and found murdered.
Porter said the person in the composite is one of four people considered persons of interest, perhaps even more.
“We are not allowed to disclose any names of individuals,” Porter said. “We do believe that we have some fairly solid information about a potential suspect and one or two other persons of interest.”
She said there is another female person of interest who may have heard the one of the men talk about the crime.
Originally police said they do have DNA evidence collected at the crime scene. But Porter wouldn’t comment about whether that DNA evidence matched any of the four people considered persons of interest.
For now, the coalition, consisting of a private investigator and Richter 7 marketing specialists are making a public plea on behalf of Rosie’s mother.
“If anybody out there listening, we the Tapia family plead to the public to help find Rosie’s killer,” said Lewine Tapia, Rosie’s mother.
Over the last two decades, the Tapia family has been relentless in keeping the case in the public’s eyes. Porter said it was their efforts that led to these four persons of interest.
“The police called the leads credible,” said Porter.
It’s been a long time since Lewine Tapia stepped foot in the apartment complex. She said she’s driven past it on occasion. Monday was difficult.
“It hurts,” she said. “I’m so emotional right now but she’s (Rosie) giving me the strength to come and do this.”
The coalition has several avenues for anyone with information to reach them.
Porter said they also have faw footage of the 1995 crime scene aftermath as well as Rosie’s funeral. She asked the public to view the footage in hopes of discovering a person linked to the crime.