The Disturbing Disappearance of Najah Ferrell: Missing Person Investigations Continue and a Documentary is Announced

The Disturbing Disappearance of Najah Ferrell: Missing Person Investigations Continue and a Documentary is Announced

Najah Ferrell

When 30-year-old mother Najah Ferrell didn’t show up for work at a new job on March 15 of 2019, people began to worry. When she didn’t collect her two children later that afternoon, concerns mounted further. As far as missing person investigations could deduce, it had been a morning just like any other, but Najah had vanished. More than two years after her disappearance, Najah’s story will feature in upcoming show on Discovery Plus. Could such high profile publicity finally trigger a lead that sheds light on the fate of this missing adult?

An Ordinary Day in Indiana

Najah Ferrell’s sister described her as kind and caring; she was the mother of two children, as well as three foster kids. That Friday, Najah was ready to start a new job at a Panera Bread restaurant in Indianapolis. She’d been up since 3:00 am, and has asked her fiancé to wake the children and get them to school because her shift started at 5:00 am. Later, he would tell missing person investigators that the moment Najah left the apartment was the last time he saw her. She had set off for work from their home in Avon, Indana, in a 2018 Black Nissan Altima, with a 30 mile drive ahead of her.

Najah’s mother, Paula Gholson, soon reported her daughter missing to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. She later shared, “I knew then. I said, ‘Something is wrong.’ Because that’s not Najah.” The case was later transferred to the Avon Police Department, under whose jurisdiction her last known whereabouts fell. Missing person investigations began with interviews of Najah’s fiancé, friends, family, and neighbors. Leader of the case Detective Nugent confirmed that everyone who was questioned fully cooperated with the investigators.

Missing and Endangered With Precious Time Lost

While those working the case were dedicated, Nugent shared that they came up against frustrating delays. The cell phone company were slow to respond to data requests, and an unrelated missing person case nearby left local resources thin on the ground. Najah’s mother Paula later revealed that she felt crucial time had been lost in the 48 hours that immediately followed her daughter’s mysterious vanishing.

On March 26, a breakthrough emerged and hope was reignited when Najah’s car was found abandoned in Indianapolis on Interstate 65. To the alarm of investigators and family members, some of Najah’s belongings were discovered strewn along the side of the road. However, her purse and cellphone were nowhere to be found. The hope that she may still be safe quickly faded on April 8 following a grizzly discovery. 100 miles north of Avon, a fisherman found a human foot in a retention pond at Crown Point. Realizing the greatest fears of her loved ones, the foot was confirmed to belong to Najah.

Missing Person Investigations Continue

While missing person investigations began working on the assumption that Najah Ferrell had likely been murdered, no suspects have emerged, and her family members have vowed to continue their search. The Indiana State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation are  both actively involved. Authorities released the following statement: “We believe that somebody knows something about this case. We are pleading with the public to step forward with information that can help bring closure for Najah’s family and her children.” Police are encouraging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers Central Indiana, highlighting that every single caller remains absolutely 100% anonymous.

If swifter action had been taken in the 48 hours following the disappearance of Najah Ferrell, could her fate have been different? For loved ones of any missing person, knowing where to turn for additional support can be invaluable. Here at Lauth Missing Persons, we take every step to ensure that the families of those who have vanished have access to every resource possible. Alongside providing immediate expert missing person assistance, we help loved ones to set up critical Go Fund Me campaigns in order to fund their efforts. We can also advise on other organizations that offer additional support, such as The Black and Missing Foundation and National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Husband Dominic Remains Suspect in the Missing Person Case of Mary Badaracco

Husband Dominic Remains Suspect in the Missing Person Case of Mary Badaracco

Mary Badaracco

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.

The Case of Maura Murray: Holding on to Hope When Missing Person Investigations Go Cold

The Case of Maura Murray: Holding on to Hope When Missing Person Investigations Go Cold

maura murray

On a fateful day in February of 2004, 21 year-old Massachusetts university student Maura Murray disappeared without a trace. A car accident had taken place, and although witnesses statements had placed the young woman on Route 112 in North Haverhill, New Hampshire, the events that followed remain shrouded in mystery. Some seventeen years after her disappearance, missing person investigations continue the quest to discover what happened to Maura Murray, while her family hold out hope that she may one day return home.

A Kind-Hearted Honor Student

Maura Murray was born on May 4, 1982, to parents Fred and Laurie in Brockton, Massachusetts. The youngest of five children, Maura excelled both academically and in various athletic sports, while becoming known as a kind-hearted contributor to her local community. Graduating at the top of her class from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Maura continued on to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and then the University of Massachusetts where she was pursuing a career in nursing.

In the months leading up to her disappearance, Maura’s behavior had shown signs of the unexpected. The slim built, brown haired, and blue eyed young woman had crashed her fathers car on the way to a party, causing some $8,000 in damage. She had also been arrested for using a stolen credit card number to order fast-food, although the charges were dismissed on the grounds of good behavior.

On the morning of the day that she would vanish, Monday February 9, Maura electronically submitted her homework, telling her professor that there had been a death in the family and that she needed to leave campus for the week—a statement that the family themselves couldn’t explain. She reached out to an accommodation provider in Stowe, Vermont, and the owner of a condominium in Bartlett, New Hampshire, where she and her family had forged positive memories in the past—although she didn’t make a reservation. Finally, she packed a bag with enough clothes and supplies to last several days, and left campus.

Strange Circumstances Unfold

At 3:15 pm Maura stopped at an ATM and withdrew $280—almost all of the money she had available to her—and visited in a liquor store, where she spent $40 on alcohol. Nobody who was interviewed over the course of following missing person investigations could explain why she left, or be certain of where she was going. Authorities revealed that she departed the area at around 4:30 pm in her 1996 Saturn, driving north towards New Hampshire.

At 7:27 pm that Monday evening, a local resident named Faith Westman reported to the police that a car accident had occurred near her home in Haverhill. Not long after this report, bus driver Butch Atwood indicates that he saw and spoke to Maura by the side of the road. Her car was in the ditch and the airbags had deployed, although Maura didn’t appear injured. Despite this, when Maura declined his help and told Atwood that she had already called AAA, his concern was piqued as the area is known for its poor cell reception. The bus driver returned home but contacted the police to report the incident.

A Missing Person In New Hampshire

When police arrived on the scene at 7:46pm, Maura’s car was locked, and she had vanished. A police officer, a state trooper, and eight firefighters searched the area for signs of the young woman. No traces of Maura have been found since that tragic evening, including cell phone or bank account activity. Speculation remains that someone local and able to traverse the nearby terrain may have taken the young woman, although no valuable leads have arisen.

On April 3 of 2019, authorities followed a tip from concerned private citizens who had used ground-penetrating radar to detect disturbed ground below the basement of a nearby property. When state police and FBI agents lifted the concrete floor of the basement, they found no sign of a crime. Because of the strange circumstances surrounding her vanishing, Maura Murray is considered to be missing and endangered. Despite her trail going cold after so many years, Maura’s family remain hopeful. They continue their campaign both through a tribute website and on Go Fund Me.

Seeking Support When Your Loved One Goes Missing

When an adult or child goes missing, time is of the essence. For those in need of assistance, the Lauth Missing Persons team bring more than two decades of experience and a proven track record to the table. Our dedicated investigators will waste no time in picking up the trail of your loved one.
We jump straight into fieldwork, alongside working closely with a global network of NGOs such as Interpol’s I Familia, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. We also assist families in setting up Go Fund Me campaigns—facilitating an unimpeded search and access to reward funds—so that focus can remain simply on bringing loved ones home again. Learn more by visiting or by contacting us today.

A Missing Girl and a Polaroid: The Mysterious Disappearance of Tara Calico

A Missing Girl and a Polaroid: The Mysterious Disappearance of Tara Calico

tara calico

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

tara calico

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.

Barry Morphew Arrested in Disappearance of Wife, Suzanne Morphew

Barry Morphew Arrested in Disappearance of Wife, Suzanne Morphew

The family of Suzanne Morphew has finally seen movement in the case of the missing Colorado mother who disappeared one year ago. Her husband, Barry Morphew, has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the presumed death of Suzanne, authorities announced on Wednesday.

Though Suzanne Morphew’s body has not been found, the affidavit that was the basis for Morphew’s arrest detailed reasons why investigators believe he is responsible for his wife’s disappearance and presumed death. While that affidavit remains under seal, Morphew also exercised his right to remain silent, immediately asking for representation following his arrest. Chaffe County Sheriff, John Spezze, said, “Today is not the day for celebration nor does it mark the end of this investigation. Rather it’s the next step in this very difficult yet very important journey as we seek justice for Suzanne and her family.”

Suzanne Morphew, 49, has been missing for over a year, disappearing on May 10, 2020, Mother’s Day. She was reported missing when a neighbor called 911 to report that Morphew had gone for a bike ride and never returned. In a Facebook video that arched many eyebrows on the internet, Barry Morphew pled with the public for any information leading to her safe return, offering a $200,000 reward. “Now questions asked, however much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back,” Morphew said in the video.

When searches by law enforcement of the area where Suzanne went bike-riding turned up nothing, her brother, Andy Moorman, announced in mid-September that he was recruiting and organizing volunteers for his own search efforts. “I need to find her, need to bring her home, give her a proper burial and closure for my family,” he told KMGH-TV. “And that’s my point, I’m not about finding somebody guilty or trying to inflict punishment on anyone. That’s law enforcement’s job.”

Morphew’s arrest is the result of a sprawling effort by law enforcement to find answers in his wife’s disappearance. More than 135 searches have been conducted in the state of Colorado, and investigators interviewed an excess of 400 people across several states. Suzanne was described by Spezze as “a rare find” and someone who was much beloved by those who knew her. She had two daughters at the time of her disappearance.