SALT LAKE CITY -- August has been designated Cold Case Month in Utah, and a reward of $3,000 is being offered for information that leads to a conviction in any of the state's open cold cases.
The Utah Cold Case Coalition, law enforcement and others gathered Tuesday to discuss Cold Case Month, the new reward and the state database for cold cases created this year.
Senate Bill 160, also known as "Rosie's Law", was passed earlier this year and took effect July 1. The legislation creates a statewide database of unsolved murders and disappearances more than three years old.
The database, which launched Tuesday, will be maintained by the Department of Public Safety. The coalition is looking for all available information, including witnesses and family members, to help fill out the database.
Rosie Tapia was murdered 23 years ago, and the case remains unsolved. Rosie's mother and the families of nine other victims were among those present at Tuesday's event.
"As the years go by and my kids are getting bigger and my grand kids are getting bigger and they're having babies: I just wonder what she would be in life," Lewine Tapia said of her daughter. "So it's kind of hard imagining stuff like that."
Starting Tuesday, the coalition is offering a $3,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to a conviction in any of the state's more than 200 open cold cases. The money be awarded in the absence of a conviction if the coalition feels the tip is substantial enough to give them, and the family, closure.
The Utah Cold Case Coalition hopes the reward will give people an incentive to come forward with information that could bring closure to these families.
The coalition also said they need the public's help to make that happen and are currently seeking volunteers who specialize in Ground-Penetrating Radar services, medical review, sketch artists, videographers and clerical or computer assistants.
Information regarding any of Utah's cold cases can be submitted to a 24/7 tipline at, 385-CLUE (2583)-313.
See the links below for other agencies and resources involved in solving cold cases: