Belen, New Mexico, a 19-year-old resident, Tara Calico disappeared in 1988 after going on a bike ride along New Mexico State Road 47 – a route she traveled almost every morning. In July 1989, a polaroid surfaced in Florida that saw a teenage girl and another boy around 10 years of age, tied up and laying on a bed-like background. The girl is thought to be Tara, yet today, 30 years later, no one knows what exactly happened to her and where exactly Tara Calico disappeared.
The morning of the disappearance
Tara Calico, conceived on February 28, 1969, a sophomore at the University of New Mexico, had gained notoriety for an organization. She left her home in Belen, Valencia County at 9:30 am, on her standard bike ride on a road New Mexico State Road 47. She took her mom’s pink Huffy trail blazing bicycle; her own had built up a punctured tire the day preceding.
Her mom too accompanied her on these rides, however, around then wouldn’t come since she believed she was being followed by a stalker – she saw this driver every now and again who followed her completely through her bicycle venture. She cautioned Tara about this. However, Tara dismissed this thought, saying she’d be sufficiently protected.
On the morning of Tara’s disappearance, she had told her mom to come to get her if she was not home by noon because she had plans to go play tennis with her boyfriend at 12:30 pm. She left about 9:30 am and never returned.
Frantic mother calls the police
Her mom went searching for her along the bike route but could not find her. Because of her own paranoia based on the stalker – an episode she had encountered, she decided to call the police. Pieces of Tara’s cassette player and cassette tape were later found along the road and several witnesses came forward reporting seeing Tara riding her bicycle but nobody witnessed her abduction. Although a light-colored pickup truck with a camper shell possibly a 1953 Ford was seen following closely behind her.
Tara’s bicycle was never found and her mom believes Tara may have intentionally dropped the cassette player pieces in an attempt to mark her trail. The case would become one amongst the many missing cases in the world’s history, but alas, a suspicious thread related to this case arose – the polaroid.
The Polaroid Photo
Nine months later, in Port St. Joe Florida, a woman pulled into a convenience store parking lot and noticed a man with a mustache in his 30s sitting in a white windowless Toyota cargo van. When he left a Polaroid photo of a young boy and young woman tied up and duct-taped were on the ground in the same parking spot where the truck had been. Police set up roadblocks but could not find the vehicle.
An analysis of the photo showed the particular film used was not available until May of 1989, helping investigators narrow down the time frame it could have been taken. The photo was broadcast on a July 1989 episode of a Current Affair and friends began contacting Patti Doel that the young woman in the photo resembled Tara. What made Tara’s mother believe that this girl was her daughter was the scar on the woman’s leg that was identical to one Tara had received in a car accident. One of Tara’s favorite books, VC Andrews’ My Sweet Audrina, was next to the young woman in the picture.
Scotland Yard concluded it was terror in the photo but the Los Alamos National Laboratory disagreed. In an FBI analysis was inconclusive. The young boy in the photo was believed by his family to be the missing Michael Henley but it is thought highly unlikely now as Henley’s remains were later found seven miles away from the campsite he wandered away from and it’s believed he died of exposure.
Findings Of Two New Mysterious Polaroids
Sometime later Tara’s family has been approached to dissect numerous photographs throughout the long periods of which practically all have been excused. However, two different photographs have surfaced that they think could be Tara. The former was found close to a building site in Montecito, California, a blurry photograph that shows a young lady with tape covering her mouth in a light blue striped texture on the cushion in the primary Toyota van photograph.
The subsequent one, which surfaced in 1990, shows a young lady who, indeed, could be Tara, bound with cloth, sitting on an Amtrak train with an unidentified man. Examiners have brought up issues about its authenticity. Police and the Doels have proposed it might be a scam. Tara’s sister says they can’t preclude any of the three photographs and that there was a statement striking phenomenal likeness. Be that as it may, Patty, her mother, accepts the main photograph is Tara and the second one perhaps a muffle.
The Apparent Closing Of The Case
The sheriff’s department deputized Tara’s mom and stepfather so they could stay near the examination. Hope was on the verge of being lost as speculations came up that maybe Tara Calico had fled away. Rene Rivera, a deputy when the case broke and sheriff of Valencia County between 1996 and 2011, expressed that he stayed focused on shutting the case.
In the end, the Doels and their other kids moved to Florida. Patty Doel died in May 2006 because of difficulties from a stroke. Tara’s biological dad, David Calico, passed away because of a heart attack in 2002. That left behind her stepfather, John Doel, and her kin.
After twenty years, Sheriff Rene Rivera opened back the case, with another snippet of data.
20 years after Tara Calico Disappeared, Rene Rivera, the sheriff of Valencia County, asserted that he comprehended what had befallen Tara. As indicated by Rivera, young men who knew her drove up behind her in a truck and some type of mishap followed. Tara Calico was killed and the ones responsible concealed this matter. Rivera said he knew the names of those included yet that, without a body, he was unable to put forth a case. No arrests have been presented and Tara’s case stays open.
In 2013, the case was revived by local and federal agents. A six-man team was chosen yet no records were made open, so the case stayed cold.
Was It All A Police Cover Up?
In November 2013, a report that changed the dynamics of the case was brought out. As indicated by Mr. Henry Brown – a man on his demise bed, who requested a meeting with the then deputy chief of the police department, Frank Methola. Brown told police that his neighbor, Lawrence Romero Jr., and a few companions transparently talked about killing Tara on the day that she disappeared. Romero’s dad was the Valencia County Sheriff at the hour of Tara’s vanishing!
Lawrence Romero junior wounded Tara Calico to death after they hit her with the truck and took her to a disengaged zone to assault her. After that, they dumped her body close by yet recovered it when the inquiry began and chose to store it in the makeshift basement under a trailer Romero Jr. lived in.
The most conceivable end after Brown’s announcement is that the Sheriff around then tried to conceal the case and not charge the young men blameworthy. Also intriguing that with regards to 2013, another man named Donald Dutch went to the sheriff and presented his announcement drawing the same story demonstrating the young men liable of homicide and rape. However, interestingly enough, the recording and report couldn’t be discovered later on!
Apparently Romero, Jr., who lethally shot himself in 1991, was at that point viewed as a suspect by individuals locally. What association he may have had with this case stays obscure to the general population, to date.
This leaves us questioning even today, will there be more clues? Is she still alive? Will the family get closure? As of today, where Tara Calico disappeared, still remains a morbid mystery.
Read Also: The Disappearance of Frederick Valentich: an Unsolved Puzzle.