Who is a Missing Person? 

who is a missing person?

This question came across social media to me recently and the question had me thinking about all the permutations of “the missing.” Is there a true definition? Is there an official “Journal of the Missing”, published monthly and doled out to all library shelves at University libraries? A quick internet search revealed nothing.  This is a niche that few have studied in any depth with the exception of grass root non-profit organizations. They, in fact, are the experts with honed skills through “being in the trenches “and figuring out what truly is needed, how to assist the families of the missing, building collaborations with law enforcement and other organizations in order to do everything possible to effect a rescue versus a search for remains.  The CUE Center for Missing Persons stands out among such organizations.

At its core, how do we know someone is missing?

On a personal level, I believe that if someone cares for another person, has a personal tie to them, and that person has not been located in several hours, to days, months, years,  that is a “heart definition” of a missing person. Are there people who go missing intentionally? YES!  Are there people who go missing unintentionally by virtue of circumstances beyond their control? Yes! Should we judge as to if their gone missing status was preventable? NEVER, because one mis-step or series of bad decisions and we could be there is “a New York minute!

Legal Definition (According to US Legal.com) A missing person is a person 18 years old or older whose disappearance is possibly not voluntary, or a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child’s legal custodian, the circumstances of whose absence indicate that:

  1. The child did not voluntarily leave the care and control of the custodian, and the taking of the child was not authorized by law; or
  2. The child voluntarily left the care and control of the child’s legal custodian without the custodian’s consent and without intent to return.
  3. State agencies work to coordinate reports of missing persons with federal agencies, such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
  4. In states with an Amber Alert Plan, parents of a missing or abducted child can contact their local police or sheriff’s department to file a Missing Person Report. If a child is missing and believed to be in danger, there is no 24-hour waiting period.  The law enforcement agency will immediately enter information about the missing child into the Missing Person’s database and the National Crime Information Center’s Missing Person File.

Participating law enforcement agencies can request an Amber Alert if their investigation determines that the child’s disappearance meets the Amber Alert criteria.

Types and Examples of Missing Persons:

Every missing person is somebody’s child…

Other Categories:

We also have men and women missing as a consequence of prostitution, “survival on the street” essentially often hiding in plain sight, fighting their demons, trying to survive.

Another huge category of the missing is attributed to Intimate Partner Violence. We need only to go to SusanMurphy-Milano.Com to see the thousands of examples she left for us!

And on and on….

Suffice it to say, the reasons for going missing are many and varied. If we care for humanity, our hearts are big enough to hold all of the reasons. It matters not why in the final analysis. It only matters that we find them and help them back to a “new normal.”

CUE Center for Missing PersonsIf you know of a missing person, please file a report with the police and then contact the CUE Center for Missing persons, a national non-profit organization.  To support their work: http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/donate/


Who is a Missing Person?



Chasing Rainbows – The Missing Who are Elderly- Part II



If we only knew the resources needed to care for our elderly, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, we’d be shocked. It is on the increase – 71% in the past decade!  According to the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops this disease;
  • Family caregivers spend approximately $5,000 per year caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s;
  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death , and one without prevention or a cure or a mechanism to slow its growth;
  • Caregivers have very high-stress levels, and provided about $15.1 billion in uncompensated care from those surveyed in 2015;
  • Comparison of  Statistics my two home states –
  • Connecticut – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 883 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016, with it being the 6th leading cause of death;
  • South Carolina – Those receiving Medicaid- Title 19 funding, $ 561 million was spent on the cost of care for this disease to date in 2016.  South Carolina is the 8th highest state in the U.S. re prevalence of Alzheimer’s  with an 86% increase since year 2000!

Numbers don’t lie, no matter what the economic state of our nation. “The rich get richer and the poor get children …and Alzheimer’s”, to paraphrase the old saying.  Chronic unemployment, poverty, lack of access to nutritious food, lack of availability of medical care, increased crime and stress on communities, all contribute to  people’s minds and bodies wasting.  What can be done? I do not have the answers.

However, I know that with dedication, perseverance, and innovative investigation,  Cue Center for Missing Persons  is ready to assist in locating our elders, wherever they may be.   A mandatory part of the equation is always the need for a collective consciousness for the community to do the right thing, stepping forward with any information that may contribute to a successful recovery of a missing person.

Here are four additional examples, to my Part I blog.  Knowing that many of the people in the registry have been missing for several years, gone missing as a young or  middle-aged person, we can only speculate that  in 2016, there are considerably higher  numbers of the people now classified as elderly had they disappeared in the 1980 and 199os.

 Examples of the Missing Elderly from the Cue Center Registry

CUE NC- edna-glaze

1)Brevard, North Carolina – Edna Glaze, age 76 went missing in March 1996 after walking or being dropped off at a hardware store followed by a music store. Edna was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.



CUE - MichigAN - clewley_joe2

2) Chippewa County, Michigan -Joseph Clewley, age 73, went missing in July 2008 south of Paradise, Michigan on the North County Pathway. He was an avid hiker with a cabin, with significant medical conditions of a physical nature. http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/joseph-clewley-2/


CUE Texas Shirley-Hunt-jpg3) Henderson, Texas –Shirley Hunt, age 72, went missing in June 2007. Shirley was last seen walking from her residence in Henderson about 3 p.m.  Shirley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/


4) Pleasanton, Kansas- Richard Clark, age 67, went missing in October 2005. Richard was a former truck driver and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen in his community at a local grocery store and /or truck stop.  http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/missing-persons/missing-other-states/texasshirley-hunt-148×150/


Please assist us by reading and circulating this information. You may never know if it triggers a memory or piece of information to assist in their recovery. The elderly are precious citizens. 

Listen to this recent Shattered Lives podcast with Kimberly Kelly of Project Far From Home to get a better understanding about searching for the elderly with dementia and Alzheimers.

click to listen button1

References – http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp


Finding Those Who Go Missing: It’s a MAZE

Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice,Shattered Lives

The following blog “hits the highlights” regarding the “Shattered Lives “episode regarding Missing Persons Advocates, Maureen Reinjtes, Administrator of Peace 4the Missing and Christy Davis, Founder of Finder’s Hope , and Florida State Coordinator for the CUE Center for Missing Persons.

For lively conversational repartee among four dedicated women and detailed info, we invite you to listen to the full hour show!  


In addition, please support all of the events and organizations listed below in alphabetical order:]

Organizations and Events: (O & E)

  • Cue Center for the Missing: (O)  http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/
  • Finders Hope: (O) http://www.findershope.org/About_Us.html (O); 
  • Dedication and Tree Planting for Britanee Drexel, Myrtle Beach, SC, April 28, 2012 (E) http://helpfindbrittaneedrexel.com; 
  • Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step: Hope for Texas Missing(E); June 3, 2012, Mesquite, Texas (via CUE Center); 
  • Holding My Hand Through Hell (E) (Susan Murphy Milano) via  SEMO and Scott County Search and Rescue; Cape Girardeau, MO  April 28-May 2, 2012; 
  • Keys to Healing Retreat (E) August 10-12, 2012 (Via Project Jason); 

 Maureen Reinjtes:  Salient Points:

Her husband went missing  in 2005 after many years of marriage; There was no “handbook “ to follow; Maureen came home each night after working two jobs and desperately searched .. for his bones…  He reappeared in 2009; There are many unanswered questions and no clear picture of where he is to this day. There are no legal rights for a spouse in such a position of limbo and desperation.  She obtained help from a private investigator, staff at Project Jason and Monica Caison of the CUE Center.  Since then she has peen a pioneer in forging the way… nominated to the NamUs Academy, assisting police officers in use of NamUS the largest single data base –repository for the missing and unidentified in addition to administrating the “Platform” format  of Peace4the Missing. 

Christy Davis:  Salient Points: 

Christy is the mother of missing son Michael “Austin” Davis who disappeared on June 26, 2007. Since that time; she has spent her time founding Finder’s Hope, a non-profit providing direct support, education, advocacy and awareness to other families with missing loved ones. Christy has been named a State Coordinator for the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Florida.

Please Listen to the show and learn more about

  • When is a missing person declared dead?
  • Who to reach out to when there is no “Handbook?” 
  • What are your legal rights as the spouse of a missing person? 
  • What you have to do to advocate for your case?
  • What small things you can do to help others? 
  • Why are resort areas more vulnerable to the missing and what learn what two families accomplished with many resources working on their behalf to locate their minor teens;
  • What is the Road to Remember Tour all about? 
  • Why is the Healing Retreat a one of a kind event and how does Project Jason assist? 
  • Why are NamUS and Billy’s Law vital to crime victims?                
  • And other topics….