On November 6, 2002, 14 year old
Tara Esposito got in a fight at school. She was suspended and called her
mom from her Gulfport, Florida home to tell her. She left a voicemail,
then, she disappeared. When her mother got home that evening, her sweater
was in the driveway and her hair scrunchie on the lawn. There was no sign
Tara had a history of trouble, but she had never run away so
when the police wrote her off as a runaway her mother had her doubts.
Still, she hoped against hope that they were right, and that Tara would
come home. Weeks went by, then months and no sign of Tara. Her brothers
and sisters left presents and messages outside her bedroom window hoping
she's see them. Her mother scoured the town with posters begging for
information. The only lead she found was that two boys who worked at a car
wash were fighting over Tara, but nobody knew where Tara was now.
recently, our member and forensic artist, Wesley Neville was asked to do a
reconstruction of a young girl who had been murdered in Hillsborough
County, Florida and was unidentified. After he finished, he began his own
search for this girl's identity. He came across Tara's flyer on two web sites,
"The Vanished Childrens Alliance" site and "The National Center For Missing &
Exploited Childrens" site, her image immediately caught his attention. Tara
had very distinctive teeth and so did the doe. The resemblance was
uncanny. He forwarded his suspicions to authorities.
Word was received
earlier this week that forensics proved the doe that Wes reconstructed was
Tara Esposito. Her death was ruled a homicide, and now authorities are
searching for her killer. Thanks to Wes' work as a forensic artist and as
a Doe Network member, Tara's mother has some answers and we can hope that
a killer can be taken off the streets.
Our hearts go out to Tara's
family at this very trying time.
To view details on other cases solved by Doe Network members please Click Here
Author: Dana Gonzalez