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Unsolved Disappearance 

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Tara Calico

Tara Leigh Calico, 19, went missing on September 20, 1988, from Belen, New Mexico.

Tara left her house to go on a bike ride at 9:30 a.m. and took her mother's neon pink Huffy bicycle because hers had a flat tire. She told her mother she was going on her normal route along Highway 47 in Valencia County, about two miles away from her home.

Tara would normally ride 36 miles. Witnesses would later tell police they saw a white or light-gray 1953 Ford pickup truck with a handmade shell following Tara as she rode along the highway. She had been wearing earphones and listening to music and was probably unaware she was being followed. 

Her mother, Patty Doel, became worried and went to look for her at noon. When she could not find her, she called the police and made a missing person report. 

Tara had class at 4:00 p.m. that day and never showed up. She had graduated from Belen High School and was enrolled as a sophomore at the University of New Mexico with a high-grade point average. She planned to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. She also worked at a local bank. She would have never left on her own.

The following day Patty found a  Boston cassette tape that belonged to Tara along the road. Later, Tara's Sony Walkman was found 19 miles east of Highway 47, near the remote John F. Kennedy campground. Patty thought for sure she had dropped these items on purpose to mark a trail. Her bicycle was never found.

In 1989, nine months after her disappearance, a Polaroid picture was found of a young woman and young boy bound and gagged, with the book "My Sweet Audrina," by V.C. Andrews in the picture. It just so happened to be Tara's favorite author. The picture had fallen out of a white Toyota cargo van at a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida. 

Two other pictures have surfaced over the years. Though the picture was analyzed by the FBI and Scotland Yard, the two individuals in the picture have ever been identified. Patty was convinced it was her daughter. 

Tara's disappearance remains a mystery and the case is still being investigated. 

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