Missing Persons

U.S. Statistics on Missing Persons

  • Every 40 seconds, a child goes missing in the U.S.b
  • When a child goes missing, the first 3 hours are the most crucial in finding the child safely. Approximately 76.2% of abducted children who are murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.b
  • It can take over 2 hours to get information about a missing child from a panicked parent.b
  • Every year, more than 800,000 children are missing in the United States.e
  • A person can be declared dead in absentia or "legally dead” after 7 years of being listed as missing. This time can be reduced in certain cases, such as in mass disasters (e.g., Sept 11, 2001) or major battles.d
  • In 1980, roughly 150,000 people were reported missing per year. Now the number is 900,000.d

  Over 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day

  • Approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing—every day. This includes both children and adults. This does not include Americans who have vanished in other countries, individuals who disappear and are never reported, or the homeless and their children.d
  • In the mid-1980s, milk cartons with photos of missing children on them made their debut. The first child to appear on one of those milk cartons was Etan Patz, a 6-year-old from New York who disappeared walking to the bus stop in May 1975. He has never been found. However, in 2012, a man named Pedro Hernandez confessed to killing him.f
  • Minorities, those who suffer from mental disorders, and substance abusers who go missing often receive little attention from authorities and little sympathy from the press or public.d

 

Missing Persons - Surviving and Caution

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