Authorities reopen Tara Calico cold case

Updated: 7:30 AM MDT Oct 3, 2013

Anna Velasquez

General Assignment Reporter


Officials announced Wednesday that they will reopen the Tara Calico missing persons case from 25 years ago. 

Calico was just 19 years old when she vanished 25 years ago.

Her disappearance is still a mystery, but her younger sister told KOAT Action 7 News from Florida that the family is excited to know Valencia County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office and other agencies to reopen the cold case.

"When you have a new perspective of things happening," said Michele Doel. "You have to feel inspired that there's going to be that outside look that's going to put those pieces together."

Calico left for a 34-mile bike ride around 9 a.m., Sept. 20, 1988. She never returned.

The following summer, a picture of a duct-taped woman and boy was found in a parking lot in Florida. The family believes the woman is Tara.

But if it is, what happened to her and where is she now?

"You have one picture that's identical to her, that you're sure in your heart your soul, that that's her," said Doel. "And then you have the other stories that are a little bit more believable because it's local."

The local story is a theory that Calico was attacked by two young men who followed her home.

"It's very difficult to separate the two because one of them makes sense, and the other one, is her to us," she said.

On Wednesday, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office announced a new task force, made up of other law enforcement agencies, which would be dedicated to cold cases.

Calico's has just been reopened.

Just recently, The Valencia County News Bulletin received an email from a former Georgia sheriff’s deputy, who said a young woman’s body matching Calico’s description was found on the side of an interstate in Georgia.

That woman is buried in an unmarked grave there. Her DNA was sent to a lab in Atlanta, but the body was never confirmed to be Calico’s.