As of April 30, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reported a total of 86,927 missing persons in the United States. Though this number fluctuates month to month, the average number of 87,000 missing persons listed as active missing person cases in the National Crime Information Center at the FBI remains fairly consistent. Access to the NCIC computer database is restricted to use only by law enforcement. It’s important to know there are different kinds of missing person cases in the NCIC database. The FBI categorizes missing persons into six different categories. Juvenile Endangered Involuntary Disability Catastrophe Most missing… Read More

Americans are captivated by missing child stories, haunted by the nagging specter of “What if this happened to my child?” The year 2018 was punctuated by a handful of missing child cases that were covered by mainstream media, including Jayme Closs, Mollie Tibbetts, and Karlie Gusé. Interest in missing children cases continues to grow with the production of documentaries and docuseries about famous missing child cases, like Madeline McCann and Jan Broberg. This cultivated curiosity can only benefit the ultimate goal of keeping a missing person’s face in the public eye in the interest of unearthing unexplored leads in their… Read More

When you are in the midst of a traumatic experience, it’s hard to look beyond the immediate crisis. When a loved one goes missing, it’s hard to think about issuing a press release and why it may be so important to learn in the initial days following the missing person report. How important is a press release when some we love goes missing? Digital communication is the most used form of communication in the United States. When a person goes missing, it becomes paramount to notify as many people as possible in order to generate leads for law enforcement, and… Read More

Couple vanishes while on vacation in Dominican Republic A romantic trip to the Caribbean sounds just like what the doctor ordered as the warmer weather approaches. Unfortunately for one New York couple, a mysterious series of events on their vacation to the Dominican Republic culminated in tragedy, leaving their families searching for answers. Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle documented their adventure through SnapChat—photos in front of lush greenery, photos with wildlife. The gregarious couple managed to make friends with other tourists who were staying at their resort, the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa. The couple was last seen sharing a drink… Read More

There are many different types of missing persons—adults with mental illness, homeless individuals, children, and runaways. Each type of case deserves to be treated with a special approach, with careful regard given to the circumstances of each case. Perhaps the type of case that deserves the most particular care and approach is the case of a missing/abducted infant. In good hands The presumption behind any missing infant case, because they cannot take of themselves, is they were abducted by an adult. When an infant’s whereabouts cannot be accounted for, it leaves investigators with a very polarizing theory of the case:… Read More

When we see missing person cases in the news, we become fascinated on an exponential scale. This includes media coverage, their missing persons flyer, or podcasts about their disappearance. The farther away we are positioned from a missing person case—whether it’s geographically or inter-personally—the more fascinated we are, like those who rubberneck to see the aftermath of a terrible accident. A person in Indianapolis who reads all of the news coverage about the Jayme Closs case in Wisconsin might do so without any sense of paranoia, because it’s happening 400 miles away, and not in their own lives. Recent statistics… Read More

If you watch a lot of crime dramas, either on television or on the silver screen, you might have heard a law enforcement character say something to the effect of, “You must wait 24 hours before reporting a person missing.” It surprises many Americans that this is a myth perpetuated by mainstream media to cover narrative plot-holes. In fact, waiting even a few hours can compromise a missing persons investigation, as the first 72 hours are the most important when investigators begin searching for a missing person. Close your eyes and try to remember what you had for breakfast three… Read More

How easy would it be to kidnap a child in a crowded place? Maybe the park, walking home from school or even sleeping in their own bedroom. Over again, we see parents of missing children making pleas for the safe return of their children on the news. We see the Amber Alerts and Facebook posts and immediately picture our own children’s faces, thinking “What if it happened to me?” A common reaction to something so traumatic. A young child becoming the victim of a predator is every parent’s worst nightmare, but the fact is, it is happening every day to… Read More

When a loved one goes missing, those closest to them become law enforcement’s greatest asset. One of the tenets of any quality investigation is research and close examination of the subject’s habits. Clues to a person’s whereabouts or fate can often be found in their regular daily routine. However, when the missing person suffers from mental health issues, families and law enforcement are often without recourse. A person vanishing without a trace or without warning is terrifying enough; one day they’re there, walking, talking, laughing, doing the things they love. Then one day, they’re not. The void left by that… Read More

It is said, ambiguous loss is the most traumatic of human experiences, and when someone you love goes missing, it is a trauma unlike any other. Ambiguous loss occurs without understanding or closure, leaving a person searching for answers. Ambiguous loss confounds the process of grieving, leaving a person with prolonged unresolved grief and deep emotional trauma. Ambiguous loss can be classified in two categories, psychological and physical. Psychological and physical loss differ in terms of what and why exactly the person is grieving. Physical ambiguous loss means the body of a loved is no longer present, such as a… Read More

The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) contains over 89,000 active missing persons cases (as of May 2018). That’s over 89,000 families who are left with a gaping hole in their lives and in their households—missing fathers who taught their children to ride bikes and were never too busy to help out with a science project—mothers who made PB&J sandwiches just right, and never forgot to leave the hall light on. Most notably, many families are left without half of their household income when a parent or guardian goes missing. The missing person may have set up a life insurance… Read More

When we think of missing persons, we often think of victims who have likely befallen violence at the hands of another. Either they have been killed and their remains concealed, or they were abducted and are being held against their will somewhere. While there are many circumstances under which a person can go missing, those who go missing with mental illness can be some of the most difficult to find. The intricate layered mesh of mental health issues combined with the complexities of a missing persons investigation make for a maddening puzzle that plagues both the heart and the mind…. Read More

When we hear of a person going missing without a trace, it’s often in municipalities, such as cities. The moment a loved one has realized the person is missing, they contact their local police department to file a missing persons report. From there, search and/or rescue efforts are launched by the local law enforcement. Hundreds of labor-hours are spent canvassing the area where the missing persons were last seen, speaking to witnesses who knew the missing person, and gathering information that could unearth plausible leads. According to the NCIC, as of May 31, 2018, there were 87,608 active missing person… Read More

For months, the family of 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez wondered if they would ever have answers in his mysterious disappearance. On the day he disappeared, he was left in the care of his father’s girlfriend, Emily Glass. In the missing persons report Glass gave to investigators, she said she saw Lucas playing in his room around three in the afternoon. She then took a shower and fell asleep. When she awoke around six in the evening, Lucas was nowhere to be found. Law enforcement in Wichita investigated for months, unearthing no credible leads into Lucas’ disappearance. Months later, on May 24th, locals… Read More

According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there are 86,927 active missing persons cases as of April 30, 2018.  These cases include juvenile disappearances, endangered missing, involuntary or “non-family” abductions, those with disabilities, catastrophe victims and those entered into NCIC as “other.” When a person we love goes missing, a time of great emotional turmoil and intense ambiguity follows. Dr. Pauline Boss said decades ago, having a loved one go missing is one of the most traumatic of human experiences. Not only are families trying to manage the trauma of “not knowing”… Read More

People go missing every day, and because of the complexity of a missing persons’ case under the eyes of the law sometimes it may be necessary to hire an independent missing persons investigator to get the job done. At times an independent missing persons investigator can step in on a case when law enforcement can help no further, since missing persons’ cases are often considered ‘cold’ by and sometimes not even classified as ‘missing’ by the police. According to Todd Matthews from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems (NamUs), a national database for missing persons, on average, about 90,000 persons are missing in… Read More

Hundreds of thousands of Americans choose to run in order to stay active and healthy. However, for many women this average, daily routine can be deadly. Over the past few weeks, several women have disappeared while on a run and have been found dead hours later. These incidents remind us that we can be vulnerable even while doing the simplest of activities.   Karina Vetrano. August 2, 2016. Karina left her house for her usual jog at about 5:30pm on August 2nd. Vetrano was jogging in a popular running destination in Queens, New York, known as Spring Creek Park when… Read More

The Facts of the Case Molly Miller was last seen on July 8, 2013, from Wilson, Oklahoma. Molly’s disappearance has been classified as endangered missing. Molly is currently twenty years old, but at the time of her disappearance she was seventeen years old. Molly is five feet five inches, with brown hair and blue eyes. She has a piercing on her lower lip on the right side as well as a tattoo of a star on her hip . Early on July 8, 2013 Molly Miller and Colt Haynes disappeared from Wilson, Oklahoma. The night of the disappearance, both Molly and… Read More

Every 40 seconds in the United States, a child becomes missing or is abducted. Scary, huh? However, contrary to popular belief, many child abductions are not carried out by strangers. The reality is most children who are kidnapped are taken by their own parents. Parental Abductions: Why Do They Happen According to the latest stats, nearly 204,000 were victims of family abduction in 2014. This is done for a wide variety of reasons, but usually occurs when a custodial order is not viewed as being “fair” by one of the parents. When this parent is allowed their court-appointed time with… Read More

The alarming rate at which people disappear in this country is without a doubt troubling, and the numbers don’t appear to be improving. During 2014, 635,155 missing person records were entered into NCIC, an increase of 1.2% from the 627,911 records entered in 2013—according to the most recent FBI stats. What’s perhaps is even more troubling is when scammers try to take advantage of the family of a missing person. However, that’s exactly what happened recently to an Alabama mother, Vickie Metcalf. On her daughter’s 18th birthday, she disappeared while taking out the trash. That was December 13th, 2015. Nearly… Read More

It’s a rather startling number. At any given time, there are between 100,000 and 300,000 children in the U.S. alone at risk for child sex trafficking. While many people tend to think this horrific crime is something that only occurs in third world countries, they are sadly mistaken. This modern day form of slavery is alive and well in our own backyards. Girls are not the only targets either—so are boys. “These are not children living in some faraway place, far from everyday life,” FBI Director James Comey stated. “These are our children. On our streets. Our truck stops. Our… Read More

Mental illness is a much bigger problem than many people realize. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults experiences mental illness in a given year. This equates to approximately 61.5 million Americans. Here’s how the other numbers break down: 2.4 million people live with Schizophrenia 14.8 million people live with major depression 42 million people live with anxiety disorders 6.1 million people live with bipolar disorder 9.2 million people live with co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders One Women’s Personal Encounter with Mental Illness Those statistics hit very close to home for Diana Kim, a Hawaii-based… Read More

It’s a disturbing statistic. According to the FBI, there are some 84,000 reported missing people on any given day in the United States. At the same time, there are currently over 12,000 unidentified bodies. Unfortunately, there is no national law requiring agencies to share this information, leaving many families in the dark about their loved one’s fate. Currently, law enforcement has only had to report to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). First launched in 1967, the NCIC is a database primarily used in criminal investigations— not the missing or unidentified persons. “We now have the National Missing and Unidentified… Read More

It’s an alarming statistic. Approximately 2,300 Americans go missing every single day. This includes both children and adults. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that every 40 seconds, a child goes missing in the United States. For families with missing relatives, the pain of a lost loved one is indescribably hard. Their world is forever changed—especially when there’s no closure or explanation as to what led to the disappearance in the first place. However, the search for missing people has been revolutionized thanks to the rise in social media. Now shares and retweets can help bring missing people home. Hundreds of… Read More