The Tara Calico Case



Only piece of evidence found 10 months after Tara’s disappearance.

Jasmine Galicia , Staff Writer

In one of the least populous cities in New Mexico lies the town of Belen. With a population of 7,403 (2019), Belen has an interstate highway system that allows citizens to travel from one place to another. During the time of September 20, 1988, 19-year-old college sophomore Tara Calico told her mother she was going to take a ride on her bike. Though this day wasn’t a normal one, she never came back. Tara’s mother noticed her daughter went missing after 2 hours. Patty then contacted the police. Police didn’t find any evidence except her walkman. At first, police believed she might have run away. Police then dropped that theory when they found out she lived a happy life. Police spent months and months trying to find who would be a possible suspect, though there wasn’t anyone. 

9 months after the disappearance of Tara Calico, a mysterious polaroid picture was discovered in a convenience store 1,500 miles away from the location Tara disappeared. The photo shows a teenage girl and young boy lying on sheets and covered from head to toe. They each had duct tape around their mouth. The picture gained attention and was soon aired on American television. Most people assumed it was Tara because of similar features noticed on her face. The girl in the photo appeared to have a scar on her thigh; which was the same one Tara had gotten when she was just a child. Tara’s mom was convinced it was her daughter. The FBI wasn’t able to prove if the girl was her or not. Tara’s body was never found. However, there was still hope for the boy in the photo. In 1990, Micheal Henry’s remains were found in New Mexico’s Zuni Mountains, 7 miles away from where he had disappeared. Police still hope to find out what happened to Tara. For now, the case is still identified as an unknown murder.