In School of Communications

Rosie Tapia’s cold case was the subject of BYU student Valerie Garofalo’s documentary, which she completed for her capstone in broadcast journalism. (Courtesy of Valerie Garofalo)

Students and faculty from BYU’s School of Communications hope the release of their recently produced documentary will reignite the public’s interest in solving the cold case of Rosie Tapia — a six-year-old girl who was abducted from her Salt Lake City apartment, sexually assaulted and murdered in August of 1995.

The debut of the documentary is met with much emotion, especially in the wake of a sketch of the suspect given to police earlier this year by a former neighbor of the Tapia family.

“Murderers Living Among Us: Who Killed Rosie Tapia?” not only covers the events of the tragedy but also explores different issues tied to the abduction and murder of Tapia, the impact it has had on her family and the cultural phenomena of true crime as entertainment.

The film is the result of a year-long student and faculty-mentored project.

Garofalo and the other documentary producers worked closely with the Utah Cold Case Coalition and members of the Tapia family to tell a story that was both factual and emotional.

“I really wanted to bring awareness back to this story,” said Garofalo. “The case didn’t get the attention it deserved 24 years ago — it got shoved under the rug. At the end of the day, her killer still hasn’t been found.”

Read the full story at comms.byu.edu.

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