When people go missing

I have a pretty wide range of interests that span music, dance, reading, writing, bushwalking, art… I love reading novels, poetry, blogs, movie plot summaries (I don’t really like watching the movies themselves) and sometimes really dumb conversations on forums. But one of the things that intrigues me the most is reading about people who have gone missing – or missing persons, as the term goes.

It might sound very strange, but from a young age I was curious as to how people just went missing. When I first went to the Sydney Royal Easter Show with my family, I was about ten years old, probably younger. I was watching someone try to hit a target with a ball. By hitting the target, someone sitting on a seat above a large container of water would be released into the water. I was interested, and continued to watch this before I turned around and realised my parents were no longer behind me. They were not far off, but there were so many people around me that I panicked for about two minutes before I saw them at the next stall. During that two minutes, thoughts went through my mind of getting lost, my parents being unable to find me, and that I would be listed as a missing person.

It would have had to have been more complicated than that, though. My parents might have found me within an hour, if I went to that “lost and found” building and they thought of looking there. I might have found them quite easily if I just shouted “Mum!” over and over. But if I had been kidnapped… maybe not.

I sometimes go through missing persons registries and read about how people went missing. I ask so many questions to no one in particular. Why did this girl randomly go missing on a normal school day when things proceeded as normal? If this guy was last seen with his friend, does that mean his friend might be a suspect for murder? If the person ran away, how could they have done it without anyone noticing by now? Did the person somehow flee to another country and change their identity without anyone knowing? How could this person just go missing?

I remember reading a story about a woman who was last seen going for a walk in a tracksuit jumper and tracksuit pants at 1am. She was reported missing at 5am by her husband, and her wallet and keys were missing. She even left the front door open. The husband hadn’t been home, and the last anyone heard of her was a relative the night before. She and her belongings were never found. Someone saw a black car going through the street around the time she was last seen. There was no suspected murder. But was she in that black car? The person who saw it didn’t see enough to determine whether it was or not.

I read another story about a woman who was last seen by her ex boyfriend (and father of her son) when he dropped her off near a bush trail near the sea. They only maintained contact because of their son, and there was no conflict between them other than the fact that she was still in love with her ex. They met up regularly. She asked to be dropped off near the trail instead of further down the road where he usually dropped her off. She was reported missing the next day.

I remember reading into the coroner’s rather long report of this particular case. It was just so… interesting. I kept reading because it was interesting. It went into a complete history of the relationship between this woman and her ex, and how much she loved her son. It described how events unfolded the day she disappeared. It gave reasoning for everything that you could possibly give reason to. The woman was not suicidal, but she was stressed out. She had feelings for her ex, but she loved her son more than anything. Her ex had no reason to do anything to her, and his house and belongings were searched as he was initially suspected of murder. No one had seen the woman, or been in contact with her, so no one else was suspected. It was deduced that the woman would not run away to start a new life, or run away at all, or end her life, because she loved her son that much. She contacted none of her family. She left no clues, and there was no evidence of her footprints beyond the area she was dropped off.

She was pronounced dead, but they hadn’t even found her remains or any clues. I think at least two years had passed when the coroner’s report was released, and they said the only explanation was that she was dead. I feel like I’m watching some kind of movie. She died, but we don’t even know, and we’ll never know what went through her mind. And I guess a small part of me doubts that she is dead at all.

My mum thought I was silly for suggesting this, but I asked her, what if she went swimming out to sea? Sure they didn’t find any of her remains around the area when they searched for a possible case of drowning, but what if she somehow swam out far enough and just jumped on a boat and rowed away somewhere? I think my mum asked me how I thought she would even survive for very long if the boat was empty and she had no food or water. If the boat had people, the people back at home would probably eventually find out about her whereabouts.

In the case of the MH370, I brought up the ridiculous idea that at least one person landed in the water, survived, swam for ages, and found a dingy little boat of people and started to live on an island with them with enough food and water. I brought up the possibility of someone still being alive, and people just didn’t know because they had no way of contacting anyone and were too far out without enough resource to travel back to more populated land.

I don’t know, I’m pretty weird. I hate unanswered questions, and mysteries always baffle me. But I think I get so deep into missing persons stories because I dump myself in there and empathise. I just so damn intrigued by them and my mind likes to think of the possibility of the missing persons being found. Or maybe I just have way too much hope.

Comments on this post

I don’t find that weird at all. I think it’s rather different and unique to have someone being curious about others. It just shows that you’re compassionate about others.

Interesting thoughts! I love to watch crime shows and stuff like that so I’ve often wondered the same thing about people that just go missing. My thoughts usually go to what I would do if someone tried to kidnap me, or what I could do to get away in certain circumstances.

Just when I was reading the post, another plane went missing a couple hours ago :$. I suppose as children, we assumed that parents are not as smart as we’d think so it’s easier for us to get lost or think they just don’t want us anymore. It takes more than that for kids to go missing– unless it happened at some really crowded mall!

All of these missing cases are a mystery. Maybe there’s a motive behind some of the disappearances, except someone cared more than enough to report it or maybe it is a legit kidnapping of some sort.

The case of MH370 still comes up in my mind; how and why? If it’s premeditated, what are “they” trying to prove? There’s always these stories that may never have an outcome to the complete story *_*.

Crazy how this post somewhat coincided with another report of a missing plane. (Apparently, it’s another Malaysian airline) I too had a morbid fascination/wonder about how children went missing. I was also often fearful because my imagination would run wild and I would worry about me being missing/lost/and never found, etc… I personally have a love/hate relationship with mysteries. I find it intriguing and at the same time infuriating to not have an answer. That’s probably why I do not really care for surprises.

I think missing is a scary thing. It creates panic and puts scary thoughts on the person who is looking for the missing person. And worse, if there is no clue or trail to look for the missing person. So, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I feel very sad when people go missing. I get very protective of my little sister when we travel. I would go crazy if she were to go missing. :'( The thought makes me sad.

In Bangkok, there are missing posters of little kids everywhere. :( There was this news (in thailand) as well, of this little girl who went missing, and one day she was spotted selling garlands on the road. But I’m not sure if she was reunited with her family.

Anyway, if you are interested at missing stories, you can look at this:


Ah, I feel this, aside from that sometimes I usually like being more optimistic about these sorts of situations because thinking about people accidentally dying/disappearing and then imagining if it happened to me triggers my anxiety ><

But yeah, it is kind of fascinating reading up on these sorts of things, morbid and creepy and all in all just eye-opening to how horrid the world is and the kind of terrible things that can happen to people… and still finding them interesting. I think it shows how interested and empathetic you are about these sorts of situations! Instead of brushing it aside or shrugging it off and saying that we shouldn’t talk about these sorts of dark things (which a lot of people in my life tend to be like – nothing wrong with that, either!), opening up conversation fascinates you more c:

I remember I’ve once spent a day looking up infamous serial killers, and then school shootings, and then internet predators. So I guess I feel it, too, haha.

I think it connects to your personality as well, that you are very curious and look for answers to try and solve the mystery or the puzzle. When there is a case that is left unsolved it is a terrible thing, especially for the family members that never found out what happened.

It is probably also related to the fact that your mind is open, and you like to write. This will be very handy in the future. ♥

The story about the woman who went missing who was still in love with her ex was amazing, honestly. I really like stories about the missing, too, and I think it might be because I love those kinds of mysteries… My favorite author, Lois Duncan, collected inspiration and motivation to write her mystery novels from her daughter’s kidnapping, and further down the line, from her daughter’s murder. “Who Killed My Daughter?” was a really great read, as it included some details of the investigation/process of finding someone, how she felt, and a vague timeline of when and how she wrote her books. I also feel it might be because I love reading about the lost, and even more about the found, because I can somewhat relate… The stories feel more relatable to me than stories about the abused, because I always wished/felt like I’d been kidnapped or taken from a safe place, and I felt I would one day be found and rescued. But even when rescued, life still isn’t easy, because there is a struggle to fit in with the norms of society when all that’s knows is what life was like before being rescued.

That may be why I love Finding Carter and… have you heard of The Missing? It’s about a boy who goes missing and the parents are trying so, so hard to find him… It just took one second, and the boy was gone. The man becomes obsessed with finding his son, and he and his wife actually divorced, the wife remarried… It’s a really slow-paced series, but there’s no filler fluff, and it’s… Well, I like it.

I always wonder about whether people will be found, because it just doesn’t make sense how they can just go missing out of nowhere, and I feel like that wonder/those questions need(s) to be answered. I can’t remember her name, but there was a girl who was kidnapped and finally found when she was in her early twenties or so. She’d known she was kidnapped, but she’d grown used to her new identity, and it wasn’t until she somehow raised flags in the system (by fingerprints or something similar) that she was found.

There was a woman who was living on her own who was taken in a parking lot. She’d screamed, and the man had a gun, and no one did anything. She was thrown into the trunk, and he drove off with her. Her family was friends with one detective in particular, and she was smart and knew how to grab others’ attention, and she left clues behind. Here and there, she’d leave behind things of hers she’d had with her, and they eventually found her. It was made into a movie, and it was one that gave me goosebumps.

Another woman had eye liner and went into the restroom (alone), with her kidnapper waiting on her right outside, and she wrote on the toilet roll the license plate number and that she had been kidnapped, as well as where they were headed, and she was found because of that.

:s I’m probably writing too much now. But those kinds of stories are amazing, and I could read them/watch movies about them for days and days and days, and I wouldn’t get bored.

But then I get a little scared, because what if I went missing? Would my online/blog friends ever find out? Would I ever be found? Would people think I was dead? Would I be dead? Would people give up searching? It’s a scary thought. /um /ehh

The planes going missing also raise many questions, because it’s…well, I don’t quite understand how planes can just go missing, or why they do, and I want to know the stories, but I can’t… It’s like when people go missing and wind up dead/are pronounced dead… there’s never a story explaining the why.