While the initial story presented to the police following disappearance of Mary Badaracco some 37 years ago seemed somewhat plausible, it quickly disintegrated under scrutiny. Mary’s car keys and wedding ring were left on the kitchen counter, while all of her belongings and personal effects had vanished, including every framed photograph of her in the house.
Mary’s two adult children, Sherrie and Beth, would later tell missing person investigators that Dominic Badaracco, Mary’s second husband, had discouraged them from reporting her missing. Dominic himself would paint a picture of a man left by his wife—claiming to have given Mary $100,000 as an informal separation settlement payment before she left.
But The Details Just Didn’t Add Up
38 year old Mary Badaracco, a brunette Caucasian female with brown eyes, had last spoken to her daughters on August 19. She worked sporadically as a house cleaner and bartender in Sherman, Connecticut, and while she had a stormy relationship with her husband Dominic, Mary was close to her two daughters—one of whom had just given birth to Mary’s first grandchild.
Missing person investigators would later find that the couple, who married in 1970, had a long history of domestic violence which had seen Mary repeatedly reported as the victim. They would also discover that Dominic had been having an extramarital affair. Knowing that something was wrong, Sherrie and Beth decided to report their mother missing on August 31.
When police arrived, they discovered Mary’s 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier was parked at the end of the house’s driveway, with the driver’s side of the windshield smashed inwards. Dominic claimed to have last seen his wife on August 20, and admitted that he had smashed the car. Finding no evidence of foul play, police decided not to seize the vehicle, which also later disappeared. As suspicion mounted and the authorities tried to retrace their steps through the evidence, no trace was again found of the car, or of the $100,000 that Dominic claimed to have given his wife.
A Missing Adult and Shifting Circumstances
Loved ones insisted that Mary Badaracco would never have left without sharing her plans, however no clues to her whereabouts emerged. It soon came to light that Dominic had filed for divorce two days before Mary was reported missing on grounds of abandonment. Divorce proceedings followed nine months after Mary vanished. A woman named Joan had moved into the family home only weeks after Mary had gone missing, later becoming Dominic’s third wife.
A search was conducted of the home on Wakeman Hill Road, its outbuildings, and the surrounding woodland, sadly to no avail. The case would go cold for a further six years before missing person investigators received a tip in 1990. The informant claimed that Mary was murdered after a contract was issued on her life by members of The Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang. The tip accused Dominic’s son Joseph, a member of the gang, of killing Mary with an accomplice named Steve Kendall. It claimed that Mary had been killed because she intended to go to police with incriminating information about her husband.
Joseph, who was in prison at the time for an unrelated crime, refused to cooperate, while Kendall reportedly failed a lie detector test. However, authorities were unable to confirm the tip and the pair were never charged. During this stage in the missing person investigations, Mary’s disappearance was finally classified as a homicide. The following year, in 1991, she was declared legally dead.
A New Suspect and A Bribery Attempt
In 2007, the spotlight of suspicion turned to a new individual. Ernest Dachenhausen, age 64, was a known associate of Dominic Badaracco. Suspecting his involvement in Mary’s disappearance, Police excavated the yard of Dachenhausen’s former home located in Newton, Connecticut. No evidence was found, however in April of 2008 Dachenhausen was arrested for attempting to interfere with the missing person investigations—a charge for which he would be found not guilty the following year.
By June of 2013, even though no hard evidence had been uncovered that pointed in his direction, Dominic must have felt that he was under threat. He was arrested for attempting to bribe a State Superior Judge with $100,000, in the hope that he would sway the grand jury probe into Mary’s case. Found guilty, Dominic was sentenced to seven years in prison, although he was granted early release only three years later.
A mother and grandmother known affectionately as Mary Poo, Mary Badaracco would have been 75 years old today. She was a chain smoker at the time of her disappearance, with distinguishing scars on her abdomen and right thumb from an appendectomy and stitches respectively. If Dominic Bandaracco, his son Joseph, or any of the other characters tied to the case know what happened to Mary, it remains uncertain that they will ever share their story. For Mary’s loved ones left behind, her disappearance sadly remains a mystery.
Taking Swift Action When Someone Goes Missing
Whenever someone disappears under suspicious circumstances, time should always be considered of the essence. Experienced and professional investigators can provide vital missing person assistance, swiftly enacting an independent investigation and following every lead no matter how small. Knowing that families in such a desperate situation can often hesitate over costs, dedicated investigators from Lauth Investigations also provide assistance in setting up Go Fund Me donation campaigns. Strategic fundraising of this nature can empower loved ones to pursue a missing adult or child unimpeded. We can also advise on organizations able to offer further missing person assistance, such as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, and Interpol’s I Familia. If you are searching for someone who has disappeared, contact us today to discover how we can help.
At 9:00 am on September 20, 1988, a hazel-eyed 19 year-old named Tara Leigh Calico set off on a bike ride from her home in the sleepy New Mexico town of Belen. Keen cyclist Tara had borrowed her mother’s neon pink Huffy mountain bike because her own was damaged. She was last seen at 11:45 am, making her way along Highway 47 in Valencia County. When Tara left home that morning, nobody could have imagined that she would soon be classed a missing person.
Tara Calico had made plans to play tennis with her boyfriend that afternoon. Having expected her home by lunchtime, Tara’s mother Patty Doel began to worry, and decided to set out in search of her daughter. Unable to find a trace of Tara, Patty contacted the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office. Missing person investigations quickly sprung into action, and police spoke to a witness that had seen a light-colored pickup truck driving alongside Tara. They discovered broken pieces of the young woman’s Walkman and cassette tape on the roadside, but no other signs or leads were forthcoming.
A Mysterious Polariod Is Discovered
Almost a year later, in June of 1989, a shopper made an alarming discovery in Port St. Joe, Florida. Some fifteen hundred miles from where Tara Calico had gone missing, the woman found a polaroid photograph in the parking lot of a Junior Food Store. She’d noticed the small printed picture after a white Toyota van pulled away from the parking spot. To her alarm, the woman realized that it depicted a young woman and a little boy, bound and gagged in the back of a van, so she called the police.
Local police immediately began searching both for the van and the possible captives suspected to be within it. Road blocks were set up around the area, but the vehicle was never found. Having both gone cold, the two cases were not connected until July 28, when Tara’s father Joel received a call from a friend who had seen the Polaroid image on a Current Affair television show.
The Sheriff’s apartment agreed that the girl in the image shared a likeness with Tara, although they couldn’t be sure. Simultaneously, the case of missing 9 year-old, Michael Henley, was also tied to the photograph. The boy had vanished in April of that year when hunting with his father around 75 miles from the location of Tara’s disappearance.
Uncertainty And Poor Communication
The Polaroid was analyzed by both the FBI and Scotland Yard, with the former concluding that it wasn’t Tara, and the latter concluding that it was. Michael Henley’s parent’s were convinced that the Polaroid depicted their son, but their suspicions were dispelled when the boy’s remains were found in 1990, not far from where he had gone missing. Mother Patty pointed out that the girl in the image shared the same scar as Tara on the back of her right shoulder. A book by one of Tara’s favorite authors was also visible beside the girl in the van.
Adding to the anguish of Tara’s parents, two more Polaroids appeared in the years that followed; one blurrily depicting a young woman’s face, and a second showing a bound young woman with an unidentified male on an Amtrak train. The identity of the individuals in all three Polaroids has never been confirmed.
As the search continued, a diversity of false leads led missing person investigators on several wild-goose-chases in their hunt for Tara Calico. In 2008, Valencia Sheriff Rene Rivera claimed that he knew what had happened to Tara, describing witness accounts of two teenage males seen harassing Tara before knocking her from her bicycle with their vehicle. Rivera indicated that they may have disposed of her body having killed her by accident, but refused to name the suspects citing a lack of evidence. Tara’s father Joel was reportedly greatly distressed that no arrests were made.
Reaching Out For Additional Missing Person Assistance
In their quest to discover what happened to their daughter, Tara’s parents never gave up hope. Each year, they brought Tara gifts and kept her room ready, just in case she ever returned home. Tragically, both Patty and Joel passed away without ever learning what happened to their daughter. Tara’s siblings and friends continue to search for answers.
For those who face the immense burden of a missing loved one today, there are more options available when it comes to seeking missing person assistance. The team here at Lauth Investigations are ever-ready to turn expertise, cutting edge resources, and more than two decades of experience to following the trail of your missing loved one. We can also assist with establishing effective Go Fund Me campaigns, so that friends and family members can focus on the search rather than fretting about finances. New resources such as Interpol’s I Familia database also aid us in taking missing person investigations international. To discover more about how we can assist, contact our team today.
When we think of missing persons, we typically think of missing children, or missing women who have run afoul of a predator. We picture candlelit vigils, balloon releases, pictures of devastated families who are still waiting for answers in the disappearance of their loved one. What we don’t typically think of are suspects or subjects of an investigation who have purposely vanished in order to escape responsibility or culpability for their actions. These missing persons may be career criminals, or individuals with no history of violence. Whatever the reason for their flight, families who are victims of their crimes may opt to hire a private investigator to find a fugitive in order to facilitate delivery of justice.
One of the best recent examples of attempting to find a fugitive is the tragic case of J.J. Vallow and Tylee Ryan out of Iowa. Back in 2018, the children were reported missing when the family could not confirm the last time the children had been seen alive. Their mother, Lori Vallow, had recently pulled them out of school citing that the family was planning to move out of state and planning to homeschool the children. While Lori continued to remain evasive with her family regarding the details of their new living situation, J.J.’s grandparents became increasingly suspicious that Lori and her new husband, Chad Daybell, has harmed the children and were now covering up their disappearance. Following up on their grandson’s disappearance, the Rexburg police conducted a welfare check on J.J., at which time Lori advised the boy was with her friend, which turned out to be false. On November 26, 2019, the police arrive to serve the newlywed Daybells with a search warrant on their home, they discovered they had fled their home and subsequently the state. At the time, Lori and Chad Daybell were only named as persons of interest in their disappearance of Lori’s children, but their flight from police made them appear even more suspicious—to say nothing of the other suspicious deaths that surrounded the disappearance of the children. Investigators worked tirelessly to track the Daybells down to the island of Kauai, Hawaii where they were celebrating their recent marriage. Lori was under a court order to produce the children before 5 p.m. on January 30th, 2020, which she failed to do, resulting in her arrest. Following a search of Chad Daybell’s property, the remains of both children were located in his backyard, leading to his subsequent arrest.
When individuals try to outrun the law, they may be able to do so successfully due to the quality of communication between jurisdictions in the United States. While it’s true that missing persons, with or without culpability, are entered into the appropriate databases, it is perilously easy for investigators to miss crucial information on a case because it might be in another jurisdiction’s database. This is why in highly prioritized cases, the initial investigating agency will contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help with the search, gaining the benefit of their national resources and extended labor power. However, even with the nation’s every resource at their fingertips, it can still be difficult to find these fugitives—and that’s if the missing fugitive is a top priority.
There are many families who have experienced the perceived indifference of law enforcement in getting justice on their behalf. To find a fugitive is a very detailed process, and sometimes local entities come up short. This typically happens in cases where the initial investigating agency has been unable to build a case against them. For instance, if an individual has been murdered, their family might have every reason to believe it was at the hands of someone with whom they have a history of violence or disagreements. Following the flight of this individual from jurisdiction, if law enforcement has been unable to build a case against them, they are free to roam about the country. While they continue living their lives, families can be left twisting in the wind without answers.
In cases where law enforcement has been unable to move on a search for suspects or persons of interest in a case, families have contracted private investigators to find those subjects. Private investigators are not bound by jurisdiction, but by their licensure in respective states throughout the nation. Therefore, when a subject travels outside the jurisdiction, P.I.s do not have the typical restrictions in place that prevent them from following where the leads take them. Private investigators also have access to nationwide databases for both public and restricted records in any state. If the missing subject attempts to reboot their life in another part of the country using their identity, private investigators can locate their new area of operations. Private investigators can assemble detailed reports on these subjects and coordinate with local law enforcement in order to successfully recover those individuals.
If your family needs help finding a person of interest in your case, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on how our investigators can help you. Call 317-951-1100 or visit us online at www.lauthmissingpersons.com
More than 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year. Across all 50 states, across all age groups, no family is immune from their loved one going missing. While many of the missing people who are reported missing each year are eventually reported as safe, this epidemic of missing person cases can easily overwhelm the investigating jurisdiction, either due to lack of resources or lack of experience in missing person investigations. Regardless of the circumstances, when your loved one goes missing, hiring a missing person investigator to conduct a concurrent investigation with any official police investigation to ensure that important leads are not neglected or ignored.
Private investigators are often the intelligence professionals that families of missing persons select for consultation on their loved one’s case or to conduct an independent investigation. Many licensed private investigations have former investigative experience, either with law enforcement or in the practice of law. These professionals are able to apply official methodology used in official investigations without the bureaucratic red tape that can often hamper investigations by law enforcement. As long as the private investigator is licensed in the state in question, there is no barrier that would prevent them from following leads in the case out of state or even out of the country.
Private investigators who offer missing person location services may be able to find your missing loved one faster than local law enforcement. As stated previously, there may be resource or experience roadblocks that can prevent local law enforcement from making case progress, and unfortunately, this can lead to the case going cold very quickly. In a missing person investigation, the first 72 hours are the most important, because after that window has expired, crucial evidence can be lost, relevant witnesses can disappear, and otherwise hot leads may dry up entirely before local law enforcement has had a chance to investigate. As missing person investigators, private investigators do not have to wait to clear bureaucratic red tape, or adhere to jurisdictional issues that would otherwise prevent them from investigating. A private investigator may also have an edge over law enforcement when it comes to the cooperation of witnesses. It’s not uncommon in missing person cases for relevant witnesses to be reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement, typically out of fear of repercussions on behalf of the law. They claim to be ignorant of any information on the missing person in order to distance themselves from the situation and protect themselves from prosecution. Because they have no powers of arrest, relevant witnesses may be more likely to open up to private investigators. This leads to case progression that gets the missing person’s family that much closer to crucial context in their loved one’s disappearance.
Hiring a missing person investigator can give your family the investigative edge needed in finding your missing loved one. That is because a private investigator’s first loyalty is to their client, and not to any preservation of the law. The key to getting both local investigators and private investigators on the trail for a missing person is getting any and all information into the hands of those investigators so they can immediately start developing a plan for recovery. In the same vein as relevant witnesses, the family may hold back information that could be relevant to the investigation on the basis that they do not believe it’s relevant, because it’s embarrassing, or because they are also fearing repercussions at the behest of law enforcement or the legal system. Hiring a missing person investigator who is independent of the justice system can be the answer. If your family is in need of answers in a missing person case, please consider the location services of Lauth Investigations International. Our CEO, Thomas Lauth, is one of the nation’s leading experts in missing children and adults. Our team of investigators is staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, and we carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100 today for a free quote on our services, or visit us online at www.lauthmissingpersons.com
Revealed: The Hidden Methods Private Investigators Use to Find Missing Persons
The true crime world is fascinated by tales of missing persons. Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are always adding new documentaries and series about missing persons, which often detail the sophisticated methods that law enforcement uses to find missing persons. However, when law enforcement cannot close a missing person case, families will turn to the expertise of a private investigator to find a missing person—but without the resources and support of a law enforcement agency, how does a private investigator find a missing person?
Although private investigators do not have access to the same level of informational resources as law enforcement, they still have tools at their disposal to help find a missing person. Through their licensure by the state, private investigators have access to verified databases that allow them to conduct background checks on subjects in a case. When trying to find a missing person, these databases can be used to develop leads, find a subject’s last known address, look up criminal histories, and so much more.
Private investigators typically have diverse and comprehensive experience in surveillance operations. Surveillance is one of the covert ways that private investigators can find a missing person. Surveillance operations are a great way for private investigators to collect data, develop leads, and document the unseen factors in a missing person case. For example, when trying to find a missing person in a sex trafficking ring, private investigators may set up surveillance equipment around a suspected hub of operations in order to develop a concrete plan for recovery. Such recordings and pictures can also be used in criminal and civil court.
When trying to find a missing person, one of a private investigator’s best tools is their ability to identify potential witnesses and develop a rapport with them in order to extract information. This can be done overtly or covertly. Sometimes investigators attempt to develop a personal relationship with witnesses in order to extract information from them without suspicion. Within reason, investigators may also wear disguises and present alternative pretenses for speaking with the witness. Whatever the circumstances of the case demands, investigators have the ability to develop leads and corroborate previously received testimony regarding the relevant facts in the case.
In some circumstances, it might become necessary for an investigator to develop a ruse or undercover operation in order to find a missing person. Investigators have been known to go undercover as delivery drivers, party patrons, or in extreme circumstances, embedding themselves into criminal enterprise in order to get answers. Investigators can wear covert surveillance equipment on their person, such as hidden cameras and microphones, in order to document relevant facts in the case and use them to develop further leads in recovering or finding the missing person.
Keeping a missing person’s face out in the media is crucial to a continuing a flow of information and leads for investigators. Though it may sound harsh, the public has a very short memory. Cases of missing people, particularly women of color, are forgotten almost as soon as they’re heard. It typically falls to the families of missing persons to conduct missing person awareness campaigns on their own time, relentlessly sharing their picture and story so that it may increase the chances of their loved one being found. Law enforcement does not typically devote sources specifically to awareness campaigns, but private investigators sometimes offer online awareness campaigns as part of their services for finding missing persons. The more time the missing person’s face is in the public eye, the more leads investigators are likely to generate.