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Arrest made in Rochester homicide of 16-year-old Jakarah Lopez-Moore

James Brown
WXXI News file photo

Rochester Police have made an arrest in the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl that happened last August.

On Friday, RPD announced the arrest of 27-year-old Reign Tapiato on a charge of 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree criminal possession of a weapon.

On August 29, 2023, it was reported to city police that 16-year-old Jakarah Lopez-Moore had been missing from her house since August 27.

Police began an investigation and Lopez-Moore’s body was found in the woods near the Erie Canal and Vanguard Parkway on October 14.

Investigators determined that Moore was murdered the night she disappeared, and additional evidence, police said, led them to identifying Tapiato as the suspected killer.

On Friday morning, the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force located Tapiato on State Street in Rochester and took him into custody.

Police said that he was in possession of a handgun loaded with 15 rounds.

The criminal complaint alleges that on August 27, Tapiato took Lopez-Moore into a wooded area, near 1850 Lyell Avenue and shot her in the head.

At a news conference Friday in Rochester, Mayor Malik Evans said that city police worked tirelessly on the case and said that, “the arrest of this individual will not bring Jakarah back, but I hope that it gives the family a sense of closure.”

When RPD officials were questioned about the relationship between Lopez-Moore and Tapiato, they would only say that they were acquaintances, and that this was not a random act of violence.

Tapiato was being held in county jail and is expected to be arraigned on Saturday in City Court.

Alex Crichton is host of All Things Considered on WXXI-FM 105.9/AM 1370. Alex delivers local news, weather and traffic reports beginning at 4 p.m. each weekday.