NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The family of an Artesia woman who was missing for 40 years and finally identified as a murder victim in Nevada is speaking out. Tammy Terrell disappeared from Roswell in 1980. Tammy went missing on September 29, 1980, and 41 years later, the family is finally able to have answers as to what happened to her.
“It was something that seemed impossible, and it was joy of relief it joy of sorrow, it was many things,” said Carla Klontz, Tammy’s sister.
For decades, Carla and her family have been searching for Tammy. Her body was found in Nevada in 1980 but police there only identified her on Thursday. Tammy was 17 when she went missing. She was a troubled teen staying in Roswell at the assurance home to help turn her life around.
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On the night of her disappearance, the home had dropped her off at the eastern New Mexico Fairgrounds in Roswell with another girl. Staff came back to pick them up but Tammy wasn’t there. She was last seen at an old Denny’s with a man and woman. Her body was found in Nevada days later but it would be 40 plus years before her family and investigators knew it was her.
Carla says the recent discovery is a hollow victory. Police were able to identify her using DNA and genealogy by finding a connection to her sisters. Police agencies in Nevada and southeast New Mexico are working together to find out who killed Tammy and how she ended up in Nevada. Roswell Police are actively seeking leads from anyone who might have seen Tammy on the night in 1980 or knows anything about her disappearance.