According to the FBI-NCIC there are (approximately) 106,097 Missing Persons listed in their system. Children and adult, current as of May 31, 2005
There are (approximately) 5,889 Unidentified Persons listed their system. Children and adult.
Some experts feel that these are only 10-50% of the actual numbers as not all cases are reported to the NCIC by law enforcement.
At least 600,000 children under the of 18 are reported missing each year. As many as one-quarter of these abductions are classified as family abductions. For those 18 years old, they are ineligible for a variety of resources available for solving missing children cases. The charter for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has an age limit of 18 years for their services. When a child turns up missing, police are required to register all information about the case, including details on possible suspects, with the national Crime Information Center (NCIC). This database can be quickly accessed by law enforcement agencies across the country.
There is no center such as this for missing adults. In 1998, Congresswoman Sue Myrick of North Carolina was persuaded by a couple whose daughter Kristen had disappeared 3 weeks after her 18th birthday, to back national funding for a center like NCMEC, but for adults. Two years later, a bill passed creating Kristen's Law. It provided $1.8 million dollars to a Phoenix based Center For Missing Adults, which among other things, is putting together a national registry of missing adults that will serve as a central repository of information accessible to the public, advocacy groups and law enforcement.
Coos County Oregon has not been left untouched. It is my hope that the cases presented will jog some memories, perhaps someone saw something, no matter how insignificant it may seem or so at the time, that will help close these cases and bring a degree of closure to the families.
Small towns are not exempt from missing children or adults. They aren't exempt from loss of life by an unknown assailent. When a missing child or deadly assault happens in a small town, it is not just the family and friends that feel the pain and loss, it is the whole community. Support comes from all corners to assist the family. Still, the information about their loved one is slow in coming. If the loved one is found deceased, at times the evidence leads the police to the person(s) responsible, other times it may take years before the right clues come along. For the families of a missing child or adult, information can be very slow in coming. They hold on to the thought that they will return or be found. Days turn in to weeks, then months then years. Holidays come and go, still nothing. Some of the missing turn up as Unidentified persons found in other states. It may still take years before they are identified.
The older cases are before the advent of DNA analysis came about. Now, perhaps with this tool available, with DNA volunteered from family members, along with dental records of the missing person, more unidentified can be found. This two items need to be made a part of all the missing and unidentified cases across the country. The new DNA database that is being developed as an extention of CODIS for fingerprints, would no doubt be able to speed up the process of indentification.
Our cases are presented here. More will be added as information comes available.