BYU journalists release documentary short on Rosie Tapia cold case

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Journalists from BYU’s School of Communications recently released a documentary short on the cold case of Rosie Tapia, a six-year-old who was abducted and murdered in August of 1995 in Salt Lake City. The film examines issues related to Rosie’s abduction and murder, her family’s thoughts and struggles over the years and the ethics of the growing popularity of true crime as TV entertainment.

BYU journalism professor and co-producer of the documentary Quint Randle hopes the film can ultimately help the Tapia family find justice for Rosie’s murder.

“By keeping this cold case in the public consciousness, we hope to keep pressure on public officials as well as those responsible so the Tapia family can find justice for Rosie,” Randle said.

The documentary comes just weeks after a new suspect sketch was released to the public, sparking a newfound interest in the 24-year-old case. A witness reportedly saw the suspect walk away from the canal where Rosie’s body was found the next day. A breakdown in communication between the witness and Salt Lake City police, however, caused the sketch’s release to be delayed until now.

Recent BYU journalism graduate Valerie Garofalo completed the documentary as her senior project. Garofalo, with help from fellow journalism students and professors, worked closely with members of the Tapia family as well as The Utah Cold Case Coalition throughout the production of the film.

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