Florida

Photo found of what appears to be abducted children

June 15, 1989
Port St. Joe, Florida
A Polaroid photograph depicting two restrained minors is found in a convenience store parking lot

The woman who found the photograph reported it to officials, and stated it had been found in a parking space that had been occupied by a white, windowless van directly before the photo’s discovery. She also described the driver as a mustached man in his 30s. Police set up road blocks in hopes of intercepting the vehicle or the man, but were unsuccessful.

The children in the picture have yet to be positively identified, but captions accompanying the photo often claim the girl is Tara Calico and the boy Michael Henley.

Calico disappeared near her home in Belen, New Mexico on September 20, 1988. Upon seeing the photograph, Calico’s mother was sure it was a picture of her daughter, pointing out a scar on her leg. Three agencies — the FBI, Scotland Yard, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory — examined the photo with mixed results: Scotland Yard agreed with Calico’s mother, the Los Alamos National Laboratory disagreed, and the FBI’s results were inconclusive.

In 2008, a Valencia county sheriff, Rene Rivera, claimed Calico was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. The suspects then “panicked, took her and killed her.” Though Rivera had suspects in the alleged murder, he told the Albuquerque Journal “it’s kind of hard to make a case without a body.”

Henley disappeared on April 21, 1988 during a camping trip in the Zuni Mountains, also in New Mexico. Henley’s parents initially believed the boy in the photograph, but his body was discovered in 1990 near the area he disappeared. It is theorized he became lost and died of hypothermia due to a lack of physical injuries.

A task force was assembled in 2013 to re-investigate Calico’s disappearance. No arrests have been made at this time.

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