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The terrified-looking young people tied up in the van – Who were they and what happened to them?

In 1989, a Polaroid photograph was found in a supermarket parking lot in Florida. Almost 35 years later, police are as bewildered and desperate about the photo as the day it was found.

Who are these children? Who took the picture? Are they alive? And if not, what happened to them? Who was responsible for their disappearance?

There have been speculations, some more likely than others, but the story has taken various turns over the years.

Tied up and rolled up in a van People who found the photo in the parking lot in August 1999 were understandably alarmed and immediately took it to the police.

The photo shows a teenage girl or young woman and a boy who would have been between 8 and 12 years old when the photo was taken. They are both tied up and rolled up and lying side by side on a mattress or bed in a windowless white van.

Other than the youngsters, that’s the only clue in the picture, but such cars were, and are, like a mouse on a dunghill in the United States.

The kidnapper was believed to have stopped at the supermarket and dropped the photo there, possibly from a jacket or trouser pocket.

A massive search begins Immediately, a massive search began to find out who the young people might be, and the idea was taken to publish the photo in the media in the hope that relatives or friends could recognize their loved one in the photo.

A large number of people immediately came forward and said they knew the young man, either as a friend, a teacher or, most of them, as parents.

Tara Calico


Töra Calico’s mother was one of the first to step forward.

Tara had disappeared on a bike ride the previous year from the family home in New Mexico, then aged 19, and has never been seen since, despite an extensive search. All that was found was his pocket disco, or what was left of it, as it was broken up by the bike path.

The sad thing is that Patty, Tara’s mother, used to go on the daily bike ride with her daughter, but didn’t make it that fateful day. So she asked Tara to take pepper spray with her, because there had been rumors that a suspicious man or men were watching girls and women on the way, but Tara ignored it, she said she didn’t need it. a thing.

Patty was never going to forgive herself, on the one hand for not going with her daughter, and on the other hand for not being relentless after taking the pepper spray with her.

The last time Tara traveled on the bike path was known, but several witnesses came forward and said they thought they saw a light-colored van driving slowly behind her.

Tara Calico

Hopes are rising When Tara’s mother contacted the police, it was discovered that the Polaroid film had indeed been purchased the same year.

In fact, this particular film was only released four months before the film was discovered, sparking hope in the Calico family that Tara might still be alive.

Patty was sure the girl in the photo was Tara, and there are certainly many similarities between the photos of Tara and the girl in the car. The girl in the photo also has a scar on her leg, in the exact same place as Tara after a car accident.

But perhaps the most amazing thing is that the book next to the girl in the photo is by author VC Andrews.

Tara Calico’s favorite author.

Maybe, maybe not

The FBI investigated the case for months, but came to the conclusion that it was not possible to say for sure whether or not it was Tara Calico. British police Scotland Yard were also asked for their opinion, but unlike their American colleagues, they felt it was probably Tara.

To this day, 34 years later, no one knows for sure if the photo is of Tara Calico or not, but it is certain that she, or her remains, have never been found.

Her family remains equally sure that Tara is the girl in the photo.

Who was this little boy?


A similar story can be told about the boy in the photo. He was never identified, although Michael Henley’s family initially believed he was their nine-year-old son.

Michael also disappeared from New Mexico the previous year, as did Tara. He had gone hunting with his father, but they had been separated and Michael had never seen him since.

But it turned out that was not the case, as Michael’s remains were found in 1990. It is believed that he did not find his way back to his father and died of starvation after an unsuccessful search .

To this day, no one knows who the youngsters in the photo are, although there are still strong suspicions that the girl is Tara Calico.

Who is the little boy, no one knows, despite numerous leads that have yielded nothing.

The other two pictures

Over the next few years, two other strange Polariod images were found in the open.

Another was found in California and shows a blurry image of a rolled-up girl lying on a blue pillow, similar to that seen in the original image.

Tara’s mom thinks it’s a picture of her too.

The other shows a girl bound and apparently trapped by a man sitting next to her. This photo was obviously taken aboard an Amtrak train, and although the man’s face is clearly visible, he has never been identified.

Tara’s mother is sure that the girl on the blue pillow is also Tara, but the photo on the train is a disgusting prank or prank. Most people agree that the picture on the train is not of a real crime victim.

In fact, there are those who think the photo of the young man in the van is staged, but there are many more who think it’s eerily real.

Today, it is considered fairly certain that this film is staged.

I haven’t given up yet

In November 2013, a man confessed on his deathbed that he was one of three men who kidnapped and killed Tara. Another witness said he had evidence that Tara was kidnapped, raped, killed and put in a freezer which was then buried under concrete.

Nobody knows if there is anything in these stories.

The search for Tara is still open and anyone who can provide information about her disappearance is being offered a $20,000 reward.