ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – Authorities announced Tuesday that they have reopened the investigation into the shooting death of an 18-year-old girl exactly 20 years ago.

According to Anaheim police, Mariana Tapia went missing on July 2, 1999, after attending a birthday party at El Rodeo nightclub in the city of Pico Rivera in Los Angeles County. She was last seen dancing in the club with some unknown men.

An undated photo of Mariana Tapia. (Anaheim Police Department)

Her decomposed body was found about seven weeks later, on Aug. 22, 1999, in a brush area near Gypsum Canyon and Santa Ana Canyon roads in Anaheim, police said.

She was discovered with one foot protruding out of a shallow grave by an employee with the Irvine Company who was inspecting a fence on the company’s property.

She died of at least one gunshot wound, police said. She had a 4-year-old daughter at the time of her death.

Authorities have not released a possible motive in her killing.

Homicide detectives have been examining DNA and ballistic evidence. Police also say they are also hoping to speak to a woman who came forward with very specific information about Tapia’s death back in early 2000.

“Early in the year 2000, a woman called detectives and provided specific information about Mariana’s murder,” Anaheim police homicide detail Sgt. Jeff Mundy said in a statement. “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.”

Anyone with information on the case should call detectives at 714-321-3669.


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