In March 1993, Tricia Lynn Reitler, 19, was a freshman psychology major at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Teachers described Tricia as a beautiful and brilliant student with a high grade point average. Her future was bright until . . . she vanished without a trace. The Disappearance During the early evening of Tricia’s disappearance on March 29, 1993, she was writing a term paper and decided to take a short break to walk to Marsh Supermarket, approximately half a mile from the university campus. According to investigators, while at the store, she purchased a root beer and a… Read More

The family of 63 year-old Kenneth Wayne Jimson is still waiting for answers in his mysterious disappearance from Shelby, North Carolina almost two years ago. When he was reported missing back in December of 2017, authorities issued a Silver Alert for Kenneth because they believed that he was coping with a cognitive impairment. Like many other missing individuals with cognitive impairments, case progress has been stalled because of the transient nature of missing persons with those impairments. According to the Shelby Star, the last confirmed sighting of Kenneth was in the vicinity of Care Solutions on East Grover Street in… Read More

(Sarah Galloway, 38, has Down Syndrome and went missing from Tucson, Ariz., on March 21, 2019.)  On March 21, 2019, Sherry Galloway, 66, got out of the shower and, while sitting on her bed, “realized I didn’t hear Sarah,” she said. She ran to the door where Sarah had been sitting on the porch and looked down the road that leads away from the residence Galloway shares with her daughter in the community of Picture Rocks, outside of Tucson, Ariz. “My first thought was that she had just walked further down the road than she was allowed,” says Galloway. “I… Read More

Mackenzie “Kenzie” Lueck, 23, is a vanished Monday, June 17, 2019, from Salt Lake City, Utah. She last contacted her family during the early hours of June 17, to let them know her plane had arrived. No one has heard from her since.  During an intensive investigation of Lueck’s disappearance, police made a grisly discovery Friday, June 28. On June 28, police announced they arrested Ayoola Ajayi, 31, in the kidnapping and murder of Mackenzie Lueck. Photo courtesy of Deseret News.   After scouring a digital trail, Salt Lake City police have arrested Ayoola A. Ajayi, 31, in the kidnapping and… Read More

An automotive journalist took a motorcycle for a test drive, and that was the last anyone heard from him… Davey G. Johnson, 44, was on an extended test-drive of a motorcycle in California last week when he fell out of touch with his fiancé on the evening of Tuesday, June 4, 2019. He contacted his fiancé around 2AM on June 5th, apologizing for his radio silence, citing a dead cell phone and hazardous roads. “That part of the Sierra is just stupidly spectacular. Anyway, I’m so sorry I worried you. Yes, I am okay and alive, but I am WIPED.” … Read More

Authorities and investigators in Texas have renewed vigor in their search for a four-year-old girl in Texas, following allegations the prime suspect knew of “a good place to dump a body.” After chasing down multiple leads with search teams, Texas EquuSearch announced this week they would be suspending their search for Maleah Davis until they could refocus their investigation. Surveillance footage provided investigators with an insidious picture of the hours before and after Maleah’s disappearance. On the morning of April 30, 2019, a surveillance photo shows Maleah walking with her mother’s former fiancé, Derion Vence, through the backyard of their… Read More

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 folmlowing 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

The search for Savannah Spurlock is entering its 6th week, as law enforcement continue to reconstruct the events that led up to her disappearance. On January 4th, after spending some time with her mother, the 23-year-old had decided to go out with friends. It would be her first return to her social life since recently giving birth to twins. Her mother, Ellen Spurlock, was glad to see her daughter getting out to have fun again. She told the Lexington Herald-Leader, “I thought she needed a little break. She hadn’t done anything for months since she just had the twins.” The… 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

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

Today marks eight weeks since 16-year-old Karlie Gusé wandered away from her family home in Chalfant, California, without a trace, leaving her family and friends with many questions about her safety and whereabouts. Karlie’s stepmother, Melissa Gusé, told investigators she observed Karlie in bed around 5:30 in the morning on October 13, 2018. When she checked on Karlie again between 7:15 and 7:30, Karlie was nowhere to be found. She had left behind all of her personal belongings, including her cell phone, before walking away from the property. The teen had told her parents the night before, she had attended… Read More

For many families across North America, the holiday season has begun—a season for spending time with family and reflecting on the blessings in your life. For Hania Aguilar’s family however, this joyous time of year has already been marred by her disappearance. On November 5th, 2018, a man dressed in black with a yellow bandana abducted the 13-year-old while she was outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, North Carolina The incident has caused a fresh surge of panic in a town already pockmarked by cases of other missing women, with the Aguilar’s neighbors keeping their… Read More

1. Approximately 2,300 children are reported missing each day in the United States, that one child every 40 seconds. 2. Nearly 800,000 people are reported missing every year in the United States. 3. May 25 th is National Missing Children’s Day. 4. In 1983 National Missing Children’s Day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan and commemorates the disappearance of Etan Patz who vanished in 1979. 5. After the abduction and murder of their son Adam, John and Reve’ Walsh helped create the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 1984. 6. NCMEC’s Cyber Tipline began receiving reports in… Read More

Several federal laws in the United States are focused on the plight of unresolved missing persons and unidentified remains. Each law, the result of families of missing persons who searched every dark corner for their missing child and tirelessly worked to ensure changes would be enacted to avoid the pitfalls they experienced in search of their missing or murdered child. Each law represents a victim, who in their name, would ensure another child would have a better chance. As of May 31,2018, there were 87,608 active missing person cases in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC)…. Read More

Near the intersection of 81st and Vernon in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Joseph Coles is waiting. Despite the days growing colder in the windy city, Coles has been living out of his car, a tan sedan, in front of his daughter’s apartment building since October 2nd, 2018.  That was the day that his daughter, 26-year-old postal carrier, Kierra Coles, was last seen. Now the desperate father keeps vigil in front of her building, thirsty for news of any developments in her case. The family’s worry and confusion are only compounded by the fact that Kierra was three months pregnant… Read More

The news cycles this week have been dominated by another missing persons case in middle America, where a familiar refrain is ringing out across the media: “This does not happen here.” It’s a repeated sound byte from law enforcement and Barron, Wisconsin citizens alike as search efforts continue for 13-year-old Jayme Closs, who remains missing following the murder of her parents in their home on October 15th, 2018. A mysterious 911 call led law enforcement to the Closs home that evening. The dispatcher could not reach the person on the end of the line; however, a commotion could be heard… 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

What does it mean for a child to fall through the cracks? It’s a phrase we often hear following a tragedy involving children, like the one that killed six members of the Hart family in March of this year. Their family SUV was found in the water after having plummeted from a cliff’s edge in Northern California. While the remains of the parents, Jennifer and Sarah Hart, and four of their six children were pulled from the wreckage, two of the children, Hannah Hart, 16, and Devonte Hart, 15, are still missing, yet presumed deceased.  In the weeks following, the… Read More

When we hear the word “missing” we often think of missing children. When we walk into Walmart the faces of missing children stare back at us and the missing child cases that receive public and media attention are often the most extreme examples, such as the case of Ayla Reynolds. One-year-old Ayla Reynolds vanished from her home on December 16, 2011, in Waterville, Maine. Her arm in a sling, Ayla was last seen wearing green pajamas with “Daddy’s Princess” on the front. Six years later, Ayla’s disappearance remains a mystery. It is quite common there is less concern for adult… 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

It has been over a decade since Facebook first broke ground in social media. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has gone from connecting people in close proximity—students on college campuses—to closing the gaps of space and time as old high school flames reignite their old love through the lines of Facebook Messenger. However, not even Mark Zuckerburg could have predicted Facebook would be used to connect family members and amateur investigators in order to uncover new leads in unsolved or cold cases. The social media platform hosts hundreds of discussion pages, like Cold Case Discussion Group and Missing Leads,… 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

Near the southern tip of North Carolina, where I-74 and I-95 meet, there’s a town called Lumberton. In 1995, the town became the two-time winner of the National Civic Leagues All-America City Award, which aims to recognize communities “whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.” Unfortunately, in a matter of decades, Lumberton has fallen from recipient of the All-America City Award to the number one spot on the FBI’s list of the top ten most dangerous cities in North Carolina. According to a 2016 FBI report, there were 393 violent crimes in Lumberton and analysts estimate an individual… Read More

Corinna Slusser, 19, was last seen at the Haven Motel in Queens, New York the morning of September 20, 2017. New York Police Department (NYPD) fears she was kidnapped by a sex trafficking ring and friends and family fear the worst. According to relatives, in early 2017, Slusser had dropped out of her Bloomberg, Pennsylvania high school and moved to New York City with a 32-year old man she had hoped was giving her a “fresh start.” According to Marnie O’Neill’s article “Missing teen feared kidnapped by sex-trafficking ring left cryptic Instagram clue,” Slusser’s aunt Julie Anne Becker-Calfa told Dateline,… 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

Joseph Spears, 1973. A teen from Mississippi escaped from the Harrison County Youth Detention Center on July 31, 1973 at the age of 17 according to Associated Press. The young man, Joseph Spears, was never seen or heard from again by his family. A month later, an unidentified teenager was killed in Texas City, Texas while trying to cross a freeway on August 23, 1973. The community of Texas City raised money to give the unidentified teenager a funeral and grave. Cemetery worker, Chelsea Davidson, began to search for the young man’s family. Chelsea Davidson is an employee of Hayes… 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

16-year-old Detra Yvonne Duncan was last seen on Dec. 23 at about 10:30pm near the 200 block of Nacogdoches Road in San Antonio. The area where Duncan disappeared is just blocks away from her school—Alamo Heights High School. According to the San Antonio Police Department, several facts lead investigators to believe that the Texas teen may have been a victim of human trafficking. Duncan’s father, Juan Armenta, told reporters from San Antonio’s KSAT 12 News that sheriff’s deputies had found his daughter, on multiple occasions, at the home of an individual that Armenta says has been rumored to participate in… Read More

Rochelle Thomas Stubblefield of Merrillville, In. was supposed to celebrate her 21st birthday on December 25 with friends and family. She was also supposed deliver her first child on Dec. 15—a boy, who she had already decided to name “Amir”. However, the 21-year-old went missing on Nov. 10 after attending classes early in the day and going a girls basketball game later on. Her family reported her missing on Nov. 12. Almost three months later, investigators are still unable to locate Stubblefield. The Calumet College student was attending school on a track scholarship. Calumet College of St. Joseph is a… Read More

Jim Will, the father of a missing man from Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, offered a $10,000 reward earlier this month (Jan 5) for any information leading to the arrest or conviction of persons involved in the disappearance of his son, Judge Will. Jim told reporters at Oklahoma’s KFSM-TV that he does not believe his son is still alive, but is still desperately looking for answers. Will was 39-years-old when he went missing in March of 2014. “He was at his residence with two individuals and during the interview with those individuals, they say he went outside on the back porch to… 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