The Missing is exploring the cases of two missing teenagers, who both vanished without a trace or reason leaving their families grasping for answers.
Tara Calico was 19-years-old when she failed to return home from a bike ride. She has now been missing for over 30 years, and there have been no arrests or leads in the case.
Desirea Ferris was expected home for her mom’s birthday celebrations in Liberty, Missouri; however, she never came home. She was last seen three years ago with two men in the Kansas City area, but there has been no sign of the teenager since then.
The Disappearance of Tara Calico
On September 20, 1988, Tara Calico borrowed her mom’s neon pink Huffy bicycle to go for a ride, but she never returned to her home in Belen, NM. She was last seen at approximately 11:45 am riding along Highway 47 in Valencia County. She has not been seen since.
A year after her disappearance, a mysterious polaroid was discovered in a parking lot in Florida, which showed two teenagers, bound and gagged, in the back of a van.
Tara’s family thought that the girl in the image could be her. Numerous law enforcement agencies analyzed the photo, but a consensus could not be agreed upon.
Scotland Yard concluded that the girl in the image was Tara, but the Los Alamos National Laboratory stated that it wasn’t her. The FBI’s technician couldn’t reach a definite conclusion. The boy in the image was not identified either. A white windowless van was spotted near where the photo was found, but otherwise, detectives had no leads.
A later theory has posited that Tara had been killed in a hit and run incident by two teenagers who then panicked and disposed of the body. However, as of October 2020, no arrests have been made.
Tara was 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 7 and approximately 115 to 120 pounds when she disappeared. She had hazel eyes and brown hair with a cowlick over her right temple. She has a large scar on the back of her right shoulder and a dime-sized brown-colored birthmark on the back of one of her legs.
The FBI is offering a reward of $20,000 for any information that leads to an arrest of someone involved in her disappearance.
The disappearance of Desirea Ferris
On May 1, 2017, Desirea left her home in Liberty, MO, and was never seen again. She was supposed to return home later that afternoon for her mother’s birthday celebrations, but the family raised the alarm when they still hadn’t heard anything from her the following day.
Desirea’s social media and cellphone activity suddenly went quiet at about 4 am on May 2. Her cellphone pinged off a tower about 20 miles south of Liberty in independence at around the same time.
The Liberty police dept. believe that two men were seen with her before she vanished and one of those men is currently in federal prison; however, he has invoked his right to stay silent.
Desirea was 18 years old when she went missing, was 5 foot 1, and weighed about 100 lbs; she had brown hair and brown eyes. She has a 1 and a half-inch scar on her left forearm and a birthmark on her stomach.
Ther is an award of up to $12,500 for any information which will lead to her whereabouts. Anyone with any information on the case is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
More from The Missing
Follow the links to read about more missing person cases profiled on The Missing.
In April 2003, 13-year-old Tabitha Tuders left for the school bus in Nashville but never made it to her stop. Christmas 2008, Shemika Cosey was staying with cousins at their house in St Louis, MO., when she left the house in the middle of the night and never returned.
Elaine Park and Matthew Weaver were two young adults who seemingly had promising lives ahead of them until they both disappeared in mysterious circumstances. For no apparent reason, both vanished from the North Los Angeles area.
The Missing airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.