We long for closure and answers, not a day goes by that we don’t think about missing loved one. The families of the missing know what we mean when we say” our lives have been changed forever”. We are consumed with trying to find out what happened to your loved one. We will never look at things the same way again. We look closer at people, searching their faces. We can’t ride past a wooded area without thinking “maybe there.”
We deal with Jane and John Does, autopsies and leads that go nowhere. We can’t remember when we didn’t do this. We love our families’ more, we value and cherish each day we have with them. We keep our children closer. We don’t take things for granted. We pray constantly for closure and peace. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all with a missing loved one. We are grateful for all those who support us and try to help bring our missing loved ones home.
We have seen families of the missing suffer by inadequate laws, false promises, lack of sensitivity to their grief and loss, and lack of information being made available to them. We feel there is a great need to improved procedures for collecting and distributing information by law enforcement and support agencies statewide, and the sharing of such information with other states. We feel the need for improvement in the protocols for forensic investigations and identifications, and to improve methods of family support, all can contribute to meeting the needs of the missing and their families.
Education, awareness, and action in our communities and government are the keys to dealing with this epidemic of forgotten missing persons and unidentified Jane and John Does.
As of May 31, 2006, According to the National Crime Information Center or ( NCIC) FBI Information Systems there are approximately 110,063 Missing Persons listed in their system. There are approximately 6,070 Unidentified children and adults listed in the system. These NCIC statistics cover the USA, Canada and their territories. Some experts feel that these are only 10-50% of the actual numbers as not all cases have been reported to the NCIC by law enforcement.
Any one of our missing persons could be an unidentified Jane or John Doe. There are thousands of these unidentified deceased individuals in the U.S. Forensic experts say that official numbers represent a fraction of the real numbers. All of these persons are “missing” to someone: a family member, a law enforcement officer or forensic investigator trying to identify them. The International Homicide Investigators Association, based in Fredericksburg, Va., estimates there are more than 40,000 unidentified deceased nationally as of August 2005.