Utah Cold Case Foundation announces ‘call to action’

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) –  Ryan Ross disappeared in April of 2013.  His mother Tina Ross called Ogden police because she said Ryan checked in with her every day.  But eight days later, she said the body of her 20-year old son was found.

“They believe he was killed in Ogden,” said Tina Ross. “(He was) thrown in the garbage and then ended up in the recycling center in (Los Angeles).”

She said workers at the recycling center saw a body on a conveyor belt.  

“It was just horrible,” she said.

It’s been 24 years since Stephanie Farrell last saw her mother.  She was 5 years old and said her mother, Bobbi Ann Campbell, dropped her off with a babysitter.

“I fell asleep in the window waiting,” said Farrell.

Her mother never returned.  Eight months later, her car was discovered, but to this date, Campbell has never been found.

“The worst nightmare that you can imagine,” said Farrell.  “I’ve spent my life looking for answers.”

Farrell is one of many families searching for answers. Tuesday, the Utah Cold Case Foundation announced a “call to action” in hopes of bringing closure to families.

“We don’t take over the cold case,” said Francine Bardole with the Utah Cold Case Foundation.  “We assist and help and offer expertise so that they hopefully can have some closure.”

The foundation is now offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction.  The reward is being offered in every unsolved disappearance and murder case in Utah.

They’re calling August, “Cold Case Month” and will offer information and daily posts on their Facebook. They will also have radio and/or billboard ads soon.

The group also is in search of volunteers such as medical experts, sketch artists, videographers, clerical and computer experts.  

Karra Porter who is a co-founder of the coalition said they currently have a cold case where a tip offered them a location of a body.  But she said the area is vast and need experts in ground-penetrating radar services.

In addition, they want the public to know about Rosie’s law.  It’s named after Rosie Tapia who was murdered in 1995.

“It creates a statewide cold-case database for the first time,” said Porter.  “It will include all unsolved murders and disappearances more than three years old.”

The coalition said they have new information about the Tapia case but will release details soon.

However, Jason Jenson, an investigator for the coalition said they are reviewing a 2010 composite released to the public.  Jensen said the man in the composite was first considered a good Samaritan but later told police he was never there and was released from further questioning.

“So as far as the question as to who this person is, it’s still up in the air,” said Jensen.  

Once again, they want the public to view the sketch and hope someone knows who this person was. 

Diana Ramirez’ family has been waiting for 31 years.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Georgette Lobato.  “We’re going to keep going until we get it done.  That’s our plan, our goal to make sure that it’s solved.”

Families from eight cold cases attended Tuesday’s announcement.  In addition to Campbell and Bush:

  • Joyce “Tina” Gallegos of Weber County.  According to the coalition she disappeared in 1982.  Her body was found 11-days in the Ogden River.  She died from two gunshot wounds to her head.  
  • Diana Ramirez of Salt Lake City; She was a 34-year-old receptionist at the Family Counseling Center at 807 E. South Temple.  On September 9, 1986, she was brutally stabbed to death.  It was not a robbery.  A worker in a neighboring suite reported seeing a 1984-1986 two tone silver and dark gray hatchback, possibly a Chevrolet, blocking the parking lot driveway.
  • Christopher Robertson, Price (Mysterious death):  He was a 38-year-old carpenter and father living with his mother near Price when he disappeared.  On December 12, 2011, his body was found by local utility workers.  He was naked inside a sewer manhole near his home. It’s estimated he had been dead for three weeks.
  • Cody Ray Rodriguez, Salt Lake City (Mysterious death).  He died from a bullet wound to the head on September 10, 2008.  New information has come to light that has prompted a review of the original assessment as suicide.
  • Rosie Tapia, Salt Lake City (Murder).  She was six years old when she was abducted from her bedroom window at an apartment complex near 1700 South and Redwood Road.  She was chloroformed in the middle of the night of August 13, 1995. Police said she was sexually assaulted and her body was found the next morning in a service canal of the Jordan River.

The coalition also has a 24/7 tip line: 385-CLUE-313.

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