Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
She has been missing for almost 31 years.
She left one day on her mother’s bicycle.
Her own had a flat tire.
It was late in the morning-almost lunchtime.
She was never seen again.
What happened that day? Was she abducted?
After over 28 years, where is Tara?

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico! Tara Leigh Calico has been missing since September 20, 1988. She is missing from New Belen, New Mexico. Tara Leigh Calico is classified as an endangered missing person. Her year of birth is 1969. At the time of her disappearance. Calico was 19 years old. Her current age is 50 years old. Tara Leigh Calico is Caucasian female. She is described as 5’7″ tall and 120 pounds at the time of her disappearance. Her hair is brown and her eyes are green.

When she was last seen, Calico was wearing an orange sweater.

Tara Leigh Calico has a large scar on the back of her right shoulder. She has a scar on her calf. Calico has a dime-sized brown birthmark on the back of one of her legs. She has a lazy eye and has a cowlick on her right temple. She has previously had braces on her teeth, and her ears are pierced.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Tara Leigh Calico left her house on Brugg Street in Belen, New Mexico. She left to go on a bike ride at 9:30 on the morning of September 20, 1988. She took her mother’s bicycle because her own bike had a flat tire. She was last seen riding her mother’s neon pink Huffy mountain bike with yellow control cables and sidewalls on Highway 47 in Valencia County, at approximately 11:45 a.m. This location is approximately two miles from her home. She has never been seen again.

Tara Leigh Calico biked the route daily during her routine 36-mile ride. Witnesses saw a dirty white or light gray-colored 1953 Ford pickup truck with a white handmade shell following Calico during her ride. It is not known if the truck is connected to her presumed abduction. She was apparently unaware of the truck’s presence. Her mother’s bicycle has never been located. A photo of it is posted with this case summary.

Foul play is suspected in Calico’s disappearance.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
Who Is Tara?

Calico is described as an efficient, independent person. She liked to make lists scheduling her days. Calico enjoys running. On the day she vanished, she was concerned about staying on schedule and asked her mother, Patty Doel, to come get her if she was not home by 12:00 P.M.

Tara Leigh Calico had plans to play tennis with her boyfriend at 12:30 P.M. and a class at 4:00 P.M. that day. She graduated from Belen High School. She was enrolled as a sophomore at University of New Mexico at Valencia at the time of her disappearance. She had a high grade point average and planned to become a psychiatrist or psychologist. She also held a job at a local bank. When Calico vanished, she left behind her sneakers and equipment, school books, and purse.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
Family Search

Patty Doel went to look for her daughter at 12:05 P.M. the day she was last seen. When she could not find her along her usual bike route, she contacted police. The next day, Doel found a Boston cassette tape belonging to Calico by the side of the road. It was three miles from her home. And it was on the opposite side of the highway. It was as if she had dropped it while riding away from her residence.

Later, part of Tara Leigh Calico’s Sony Walkman was recovered. It was located nineteen miles east of Highway 47 near the remote John F. Kennedy campground. Doel believed her daughter deliberately dropped those items to mark her trail. Near the cassette tape were some bike tracks and marks resembling a scuffle or skids.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
Mystery Photo

Rumors have persisted for years that Tara Leigh Calico was the unidentified female in a Polaroid photo. That photo was discovered in Port St. Joe, Florida on June 15, 1989. It was found nine months following her disappearance. A white Toyota cargo van had been parked in the spot prior to the discovery of the picture.

The photo was located on the ground in a convenience store’s parking lot in St. Joe. It depicted a long-legged young woman and a smaller boy lying on some sheets and a blue striped pillow. Their mouths were covered with duct tape and their hands tied behind their backs. The photograph was taken in the back of a white Toyota cargo van with no windows, manufactured in the late 1980s.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
More About the Photo

Officials from Polaroid say the picture had to have been taken after May 1989. That type of film was not available until then. A copy of the V.C. Andrews novel My Sweet Audrina, a plastic cup, and a squirt gun are also visible in the photo. V. C. Andrews also happens to be Calico’s favorite author. There is apparently a phone number written on the spine of the book. But some of the digits are unreadable. Experts say it could be 300 possible numbers, 57 of which are valid.

Authorities believe that the girl in the photo was seen walking along the beach in Port St. Joe. She may have been seen shortly before the Polaroid was located. Witnesses said that the girl was accompanied by several unidentified adult Caucasian males who appeared to be giving her verbal orders. An unidentified boy was also pictured in the photo; both he and the girl were bound and gagged.

Some people believed that the boy in the picture was Michael Henley. The child was a nine-year-old boy who vanished in April 1988 from the same area of New Mexico as Calico. His mother identified the boy in the photograph as her son. Henley’s remains were found in the Zuni Mountains in 1990.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
The FBI Gets Involved N Other Photos Surface

The FBI examined the photo. They cannot determine whether the girl is Calico or the boy was Henley. The girl’s hairline and ear are similar to Calico’s, and she has a mark on her calf similar to a scar Calico got from an car accident injury. It is not known whether the photo was staged or whether the boy and girl were being held against their will.

Two other similar photographs have surfaced over the years. One Polaroid, made on film that was unavailable until June 1989. It was found near a residential construction site in Montecito, California. And it depicted a girl’s face with her mouth covered by duct tape. The image was blurry, but Doel said she thought the girl in the photo was her daughter. She has a cowlick on her right temple like Calico, and also a lazy eye like Calico has. The blue-striped fabric the girl is lying on is similar to the pillow in the first photo.

The third Polaroid photograph was shot on film. The film was not available until February of 1990. And it shows a woman loosely bound in gauze, wearing large black-framed eyeglasses. Her eyes were covered in gauze. There is a man sitting next to her on the passenger seat of an Amtrak train. Doel wasn’t sure whether the girl in the photo was her daughter; she believed this photograph may be a cruel joke.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!
More Information?

Police have information that Tara Leigh Calico was approached by two teenage boys. They may have approached her on the day of her disappearance. And they accidentally hit her with their truck while they were following her and harassing her. Investigators believe the boys took her away from the scene in their vehicle. They believe that they panicked and killed her after she threatened to go to the police. Several other individuals may have been involved in covering up the crime.

This information has not been confirmed. And no suspects have been publicly identified. Authorities believe Calico’s body is probably in the same general area she went missing from.

Tara Leigh Calico’s mother and stepfather continued to live in the house where she’d lived until fifteen years after her disappearance. Afterwards, they moved to Florida. Doel died in 2006. And Calico’s biological father died in 2002. Her stepfather and siblings are still alive. Her case remains unsolved.

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico!

Tara Leigh Calico has been missing for almost 31 years. When she went missing, Calico had most of her life before her. She had hopes and dreams. Massive searches for her have turned up nothing. After three decades, police have not been able to name a suspect or a person of interest. Calico’s parents have tragically died without being able to learn what happened to her.

What happened to Calico after she got on that bicycle and never returned home? Do you have any information concerning the whereabouts of Tara Leigh Calico? Do you have any information concerning the person (s) who may be involved in her disappearance?

Find Missing Tara Leigh Calico?
Contact Information

If you have any information, you may contact the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department at: (505) 865-9604. You may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Albuquerque, New Mexico Office at: (505) 889-1300. You can contact the FBI tip line: 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You can leave an online tip at: this webpage. OR You can contact your local FBI office. You can also contact FBI International Offices.

NamUs Case Number: MP654
Agency Case Number: 20161005875

Tara Leigh Calico has a NamUs profile. Click here to view it.
Reddit has an Unsolved Mysteries page devoted to the disappearance of Tara Leigh Calico. Click here and learn more.
Vanished: The Tara Calico Investigation is a website devoted to her. Click here to visit the site.
Tara Leigh Calico has a Wikipedia profile. Click here and learn more.
Tara Leigh Calico has an FBI page. Click here to view it.
The above information is found on Tara Leigh Calico’s Charley Project Page. I have adapted and remixed it. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 International License.
The above image is courtesy of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.

I'm a Christian, meaning that I have a relationship with God, through trust in His Son Jesus. Through this website, which is currently the only website I have, It is a full-time job to give myself to this website, which includes updating cases. I seek to broadcast missing people, unidentified people, and crime victims. These include those of all ages, races, religions, and walks of life. If you see something on here that needs an update, please contact me. Thank you.

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