VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Tuesday, the FBI announced a $20,000 reward for information helping to solve the disappearance of Tara Calico. There have been a number of rewards over the years, countless leads and tips, but still no answers. Now, after 31 years, the FBI says it’s time to bring this to an end.
“We will not give up, we can’t give up,” Frank Fisher, FBI spokesperson, said. “We have no doubt somebody out there knows what happened to Tara. We want that person or someone who knows that person to come forward, call us, let us bring Tara home.”
Tara was just 19 years old when she disappeared on Sep. 20, 1988, while riding her mom’s pink bicycle on Highway 47 south of Rio Communities. The tips over the last 31 years have led to multiple digs in Valencia County, an eerie picture found in the parking lot of a convenience store in Florida, and a lot of theories.
Tara’s picture was even featured on a set of playing cards for unsolved crimes being distributed by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, with a reward attached that has since expired. Still no Tara.
Over the last few years, Tara’s sister Michelle, and former classmate Melinda Esquibel have joined forces to investigate the case themselves. Working with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Department, they say they’ve ruffled some feathers and have learned new information. They are hopeful this reward is a new tipping point.
Esquibel, Tara’s sister, and many investigators have long believed those responsible for Tara’s disappearance are locals and the story of what happened remains with someone nearby. They’re begging that person or persons to come forward with that information to finally put this case to rest once and for all.
The day that Tara disappeared she was wearing a white, First National Bank of Belen t-shirt, white shorts with green stripes, white socks and white and turquoise Avia tennis shoes. She was also wearing a gold butterfly ring with a diamond insert, a gold amethyst ring, and gold hoop earrings.
If you have any information, you’re asked to call the FBI.