Anaheim Police Reopen 20-Year-Old Case in Effort to Find Young Mother’s Killer

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Police have reopened an investigation into the shooting death of a young woman whose body was found in a shallow grave in Anaheim 20 years ago.

Mariana Tapia is seen in an image provided by the Anaheim Police Department.
Mariana Tapia is seen in an image provided by the Anaheim Police Department.

On July 2, 1999, 18-year-old Mariana Tapia disappeared after going to a friend’s birthday party at the El Rodeo nightclub in Pico Rivera, the Anaheim Police Department stated in a news release Tuesday.

Tapia, who was from Anaheim, was last seen dancing with some unknown men inside the club.

Nearly two months later, her decomposed body was discovered in a bushy area near Gypsum Canyon Road and Santa Ana Canyon Road, the Police Department stated.

One of Tapia’s feet was seen protruding from the shallow grave she was left in.

Her death was determined to be the result of at least one gunshot wound, according to the Police Department.

Mariana Tapia is seen in an image provided by the Anaheim Police Department.
Mariana Tapia is seen in an image provided by the Anaheim Police Department.

Tapia was the mother of a four-year-old daughter at the time she was killed.

Authorities are hoping witnesses who were reluctant to come forward in the past may be ready to talk.

“Early in the year 2000, a woman called detectives and provided specific information about Mariana’s murder,” Sgt. Jeff Mundy stated in the news release.

“We are asking this woman to have the courage to call us again so we can bring justice to Mariana and closure to her family,” Mundy said.

Anyone with information relevant to the case was asked to call detectives at 714-321-3669.

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