True Crime Factor Interview: Melinda Esquibel

Tara Calico disappeared near her home in Belen, New Mexico on the morning of September 20, 1988 after embarking on her daily bicycle ride. The young woman’s whereabouts remain unknown to this day.

Calico’s case picked up steam after a Polaroid photograph of an unidentified boy and young female resembling the missing woman, both gagged and bound, was discovered in the parking lot of a Florida convenience store in June 1989. The story was featured on a number of prominent television programs including Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Documentary filmmaker Melinda Esquibel, a former friend and classmate of Calico’s, has exhaustively researched the case and is about to introduce a podcast series dedicated to the Calico disappearance titled Vanished: The Tara Calico Investigation. A docu-series profiling the story is also forthcoming.

Melinda Esquibel kindly spoke with me on the afternoon of June 8 as she was driving to the CrimeCon 2017 convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. We discussed the Calico-based podcast and docu-series, including Esquibel’s relationship with Tara and her family, as well as her years of extensive research into the case.

An eight and a half-minute preview episode of Vanished is available at the podcast’s official website, The show’s Facebook page can be found here.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Tara Calico may contact Melinda Esquibel at or the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office here.

Please click on the “Play” icon below to hear the interview:

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