One story on this list of eight disappearances may correspond with the chilling photo above left. Tara Calico (shown above right in a photo from a police handout, and below in a comparison photo with the one above) disappeared in 1988 while on a bike ride near her New Mexico home. She was a 19-year-old college student at the time.
Bicycle tracks and pieces of a Sony Walkman believed to be Tara's were found on the route she would have been biking, but aside from that, no trace of her turned up during countless hours of searches by area volunteers and her family.
In June of 1989, a woman who had been shopping for groceries found the Polaroid photo at top left in the grocery store parking lot. According to authorities, the photo seems to be taken in the back of a van. The woman who found the photo described a white van leaving the parking lot when she looked up after finding it. The picture gave Tara's parents and others renewed hope that it was Tara in the photo and that she was still alive. Tara's friends said that V.C. Andrews was a favorite author of hers, and the book seen next to her in the photo is by Andrews.
It was further speculated at the time that the boy shown with the girl in the photo could be a missing 9-year-old New Mexico boy named Michael Henley. He disappeared in April 1988 while hunting turkeys in New Mexico's Zuni mountains with his father.
Yet Henley's remains were later found several years after his disappearance in a location near where he was last seen, a fact that weakened the theory that he was the boy in the photo. Tara's mother, who has since died, went to her grave believing that it was Tara bound and gagged in the Polaroid. The mystery has never been solved.
Learn more about Tara's story at Crime Library and read the seven other mysterious disappearances here.