Missing Persons, MISPER as they are sometimes referred to. They have provided storylines to many TV shows and Films. Yet in real life the heartache that is caused when someone goes missing is immeasurable.
Undoubtedly there are criminal factors in people going missing. Debt avoidance, family disputes, kidnappings, murders and terrorist group rivalries all play their role. Taking people out for their last walk is almost a cliche for crime movies. However, there are a number of cases that have no such explanation.
National Parks across the USA appear to have more than their fair share of cases, according to the CanAm Missing Person Project. Yet publicly accessible statistics for missing persons cases seem to be sadly lacking.
Areas of Interest
The missing persons cases I am interested in involve adults. (It is too easy to get bogged down in cases where teenagers are pushing boundaries by stopping out.) They have previously had no indication of wanting to remove themselves from their current lives up to their date of disappearance. There are cases where there has been no history of someone ‘wanting out’ or having ‘mental health issues’. What is it that triggers and makes them want to abandon their current life?
Other cases involve people who have gone out in the city or countryside. No indication they did not intend to come back home. They just simply disappear. In cities, avoiding CCTV systems is becoming increasingly difficult. In London the Metropolitan Police are targeting areas with (albeit unreliable) facial recognition. Yet, people still disappear. There have been some highly publicised cases in the UK in recent years.
It is a little more understandable in the countryside. Getting injured by falling on moorland or in the hills and fells is much more likely. Peoples’ bodies shutting down due to exposure caused by poorly selected clothing can be quite common. However, once someone is reported missing, our Mountain Rescue Teams have a very good success rate in locating lost or injured people.
Then there are the ‘strange’ cases. Where disappearances are linked to events of high strangeness, aliens even. There are more of them than you may think.
I’m also interested in finding out if there are any geographic clusters within the data. Are people from or in a certain geographic area more likely to disappear?
Can you help?
If you see a missing person case mentioned in your local media please send me the details of the case and a link to where you saw it. You can do this by using the Contact page. If you can, please include the Police Force that is investigating the disappearance and any log or reference numbers relating to the case they have made public. The Contact page will format the details you give and send me an email. The information you provide will add to my research.
Please do NOT use the Contact page here to make an initial report that a person has gone missing. Your first port of call should always be the Police.
Of course, I would be grateful of any details you provide after the Police have been notified.