VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) - Nearly 21 years after Tara Calico disappeared from a remoteValencia County highway, a new clue may have emerged in the form oftwo pictures of a young boy mailed to Port St. Joe Florida thatwere postmarked in Albuquerque.
Police in Port St. Joe said the first picture of a young boy'sface arrived on June 20th. They didn't know what to think of ituntil weeks later when they received a second picture of the boywith a gag drawn on his mouth.
That's when some investigators realized the first picture hadbeen sent to them exactly 20 years after a picture showed up in aPort St. Joe convenience store parking lot showing a boy and youngwoman gagged and tied up.
It's a picture that many believed showed Tara Calico and MichaelHenley who disappeared in New Mexico around the same time.
Henley's remains were found about a year after his disappearancein the Zuni Mountains.
Medical investigators determined he likely died from exposure,but Calico has never been found.
Police in Port St. Joe said the date the picture was mailed, itssimilarity to the original picture and the fact that it waspostmarked in Albuquerque are reasons to investigate further.
Detective Jake Richards said the picture and the envelope it wasmailed in are being treated as evidence, and have been sent to theFlorida state crime lab for DNA and fingerprint testing.
Richards said it's likely a long shot, but a lead they need tofollow.
"You never know, I've worked cold cases in the past andidentified bodies from the 1970's that could never be identified.You never know where you can go with a cold case. If no one isworking it, it can never be solved," Richards said.
Sheriff Rene Rivera, who worked the Calico extensively duringhis time as a detective said he feels the same way.
"Anything that comes in is worth exploring," Rivera said.
Rivera said he has long believed that the person or people whokidnapped or killed Tara are from the Valencia County area. He hasheld out hope that this case will be solved and that the people whowere involved, or know about the crime will reveal clues in one wayor another.
"I believe that we will get that break some day. I believepeople know. This case has gone on for 20 or 21 years and I believethose people want to see a closure to it," Rivera said.
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