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Salt Lake City police on Friday released a composite sketch of a man wanted for questioning in connection with the cold case murder of 6-year-old Rosa Tapia.

Detectives believe that on the night before she was abducted and murdered that the man had carried Rosa from a playground to her apartment. That was August 1995.

A witness to that described the man as 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build and medium-length dark brown hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt, red-brimmed baseball cap and sunglasses with dark brown lenses.

Police spokeswoman Robin Snyder said detectives contacted the witness within the past three weeks to have her meet with the sketch artist.

Snyder said she didn't know why police made the recent request for the woman's help, but said she had been a witness during the investigation 15 years ago.

Anyone who recognizes the man may call police at (801) 277-3000. Callers may remain anonymous, and should reference case number 95-119190.

Editor Elizabeth Neff contributed to this story. —

The crime

On Aug. 13, 1995, Lewine Tapia returned home to the then-Hartland Apartments, 1616 W. Snow Queen Place (1675 South), about 2 a.m. after going dancing with her husband, Roberto Tapia.

She checked on her daughter, Rosa, who was sleeping in her bed with a 4-year-old sister. Lewine Tapia closed a window in the room, but didn't lock it so as not to wake the girls. She left the bedroom door open when she left.

Later that morning, Lewine Tapia woke about 5:45 a.m. and noticed the girls' bedroom door was closed. When she went in the window was open, the screen was missing, and Rosa was gone.

Lewine Tapia called police and family to help search for her daughter. About 10 a.m., a man walking his dog found Rosa Tapia's body floating in a surplus canal several blocks from her home at 1900 West and 1200 South.

Rosa was wearing a T-shirt and shorts when pulled from the canal. An autopsy later revealed the Mountain View Elementary School kindergartner was sexually assaulted and drowned.

— Jason Bergreen