The Murder of Rosa Tapia

By Naptime Nancy

Six year old Rosa Tapia, her mother, and two siblings, lived in the Hartland Apartments in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the wee hours of Augus 13th, 1995, Rosa’s mother peeked her head into the bedroom that Rosa and her four year old brother shared. Both were fast asleep in bed. At around 5:45AM, Rosa’s mother checked on her children again to find Rosa gone and the window open. Rosa’s brother said that a man was in their room and told him to go back to sleep. Police were called immediately and a search party assembled.

By 10AM, Rosa’s body was discovered by a man walking his dog. A medical examiner then confirmed that Rosa had been sexually assaulted and she drowned in the body of water she was found in near 1900 south and 1600 west. Thus far, DNA extraction has been unsuccessful. Rosa’s sister, 18, said that the day before Rosa’s abduction and murder, a man carried Rosa from the park to their apartment building. He told Rosa’s sister that Rosa had been hurt on the slide, but Rosa admitted later in the evening that she had not been hurt on the slide.

Map found on

In 2016, local news channels began airing the 1995 coverage again after a tip came in that a witness had recognized a man watching kids in the park the day before. Though the hunt for Rosa’s killer began right away and there have been persons of interest within recent years, the case remains unsolved. If you have any information, please contact Salt Lake City Police at (801)-799-3000 or family representatives at (385)-258-3313 or


The Salt Lake Tribune

Fox 13 Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Police

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