Long Term Missing Children
Don't know if anyone is interested or not.
One area that I specialize in is assisting families of long term missing children.
I do it in a volunteer capacity, for these families - and only take on cases that are long term i.e. 5 years plus missing.
Usually (but not always) these missing kids are the victims of misdeeds at unknown hands.
There are several high profile cases around the world - that have received world wide media saturation such as the Madeleine (Maddy) McCann case.
Here down under one that's receiving a lot of coverage in the last week or so is that of Qld missing lad Daniel Morcombe, missing for 8 years, who last week a known pedophile Brian Peter Cowan has been charged with his murder.
Sadly for most of the families of these long term missing kids - there are a host of probems they confront when their lost loved children aren't found within the first 2 weeks.
Here at least - these are some of the problems these families face.
1. After 2 weeks - the Police lack budget and manpower to continue the search. They simply "give up and move on to other cases" and the file goes into a filing cabinet and gets forgotten.
2. There is no cold case reviews of long term missing persons as there is with unsolved homicides for example.
3. Going missing is not against the law - it's not a crime to go missing. As a result there is no legislated responsibility on police or anyone else to find missing kids, the way that there is to solve a homicide - which has no statute of limitations. (thus there is little or no budget for ongoing research)
4. Unless someone stumbles upon remains, the missing persons file can stay in the missing persons filing cabinet at Police H.Q. for 50 or more years.
5. There are legitimate reasons to go missing (which is why its not against the law). Victims of spousal and child abuse can and do contact victim support groups like "The Underground" to get assistance to change their names by deed poll and move to new states towns and schools etc so that the abusive partner / parent cannot track / find them. Also - Persons put into Police witness protection programs often are given new identities - their old identity buried in the missing persons file cabinet. Lastly - thise intelligence iperatives who work deep cover have their old persona - "buried" within the missing persons file.
For good reason Police don't like anyone digging around in the missing persons file! Its not uncommon for families of the missing for example - when they choose to start up face book pages and web blogs about their missing kids - to be told by police to remove information - from the blog or risk being charged with interfering in an ongoing police investigation!.
Rather strange when you consider no crimes been committed - what crime are the police investigating exactly? And how can one be arrested for interfering in an ongoing police investigation into a non crime!
I shit you not, I've witnessed family being harassed and been subject to attempts at bluff by police to do just that - charge me with interfering in an ongoing police investigation of a 12 year old missing teen girl case - while doing research for a book for the family on the case.
Police KNOW - that in many of these cases they have failed to find the evidence to get the case moved from missing persons to homicide and years after the fact don't wish to be embarrassed publicly for their shortcomings.
This of course doesn't help the families at all.
6. Serious crime statistics get reported to parliament annually. Missing persons aren't crimes so don't get reported. As a result the culture which develops within Police forces is that "unless you stumble upon remains at a crime scene don't search too hard for a body because of you do then we have to solve the crime, and if we don't we look bad - as long as no remains are found, missing persons doesn't count as a failure for us in the bigger policing picture"!
7. There are no community resources largely down under for these families to turn too for help - aside from having pockets deep enough to pay private investigators, there is largely nothing else a family can do.
There are no self help books published for these families "what to do if your child goes missing". A brief online brochure I found has a few helpful hints for the first days and weeks but after that your on your own.
The USA being such a big population base is a little better off with the online resources like Project EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) which has a searchable database of John and Jane Does, that member so the public can cross match with another website that lists all the missing persons details in case a Body gets buried interstate that is a missing persons from a neighboring state etc.
Many countries do NOT have such resources.
And so it goes.
There are a great many advances in technology that can be applied to helping to find long term missing kids - and even DNA is one such resource that is still being advanced.
One of the problems that can and does occur is with DNA databases.
One case I've recently looked at involved a family of 4 from my old home town who all went on a holiday to Brazil and never returned.
Turns out after much research that they had holidayed before to the UK from down under in years 2000 & 2002 - before going missing in 2007.
The common law father / defacto husband, however - was a UK citizen who had been living here down under for 20 years on an assumed name!.
He had valid photo ID drivers license and passport even as an Aussie... yet he ALSO had UN-unbeknownst to anyone outside of his immediate family it seems, his old UK passport in his real name!.
He also didn't work in the traditional sense.
He had authored a religious manifesto book, sold online via his website!
His website had a forum with some 40 odd international members.
On his website he was known as the cult leader named "Si".
The false name he lived under was Simon
His REAL name was Gary!
Turns out that Gary was a spy of some sort....operating in our country without our Govt's knowledge or approval.
His "book" was a plagiarized version of the "Branch Davidian", David Koresh's works provided to him by his handler (in Canada it would seem).
His online sales of the book, were how his handler funneled money to him during his time in our country without drawing suspicion to himself.
When he went missing with his common law wife and kid...and his sidekick/partner in the spy bidness, Aussie Police put out an world wide Interpol BOLO.
At Heathrow airport, English customs intercepted someone traveling under his assumed name, and detained them until Interpol could interview him.
He was questioned about the whereabouts of his common law wife child and "partner/friend"...because at that point it was assumed he had possibly murdered them.
The detained person - showed interpol his passport - he had never been to Aussie land in his life, and his passport proved it!
When they looked at his wanted poster photo - it didn't match the man detained at Heathrow airport!
When the detained man was shown the photo of the guy wanted (and who had used his name down under for 20 years) - he said words to the effect "I know what that guy is, we went too University together 20 odd years ago here in London, his REAL name is Gary XXXXXX!!
So it then became clear that he had obtained passports in his real name for his common law wife and child when they traveled to England in 2000 and 2002, and used these passports to get out of the country undetected (i.e. be ex filtrated by his handler / agency) in 2007 via Brazil on the supposed "holiday".
Now the twister.
They all vanished into thin air for the last 4 years.
There was sufficient time - if you allow for the different time zones around the planet when flying east from Oz to Brazil, for the family to have been on a internal flight with TAM Airlines Flight 3054 (JJ 3054) was an Airbus A320 airliner, ... domestic passenger flight between Porto Alegre and São Paulo, Brazil, ... All passengers and crew were killed in the crash, in addition to twelve people on the ground. There were 187 people on board: 181 passengers, 19 of them TAM employees, and 6 crew members. All passengers and crew were killed in the crash, in addition to twelve people on the ground.
State crime scene investigators terminated the search for remains on July 28, 2007; as of that date, 114 bodies recovered from the site had been identified by the São Paulo Medical Examiner's Office as those of passengers.
This tells us that at least 98 passengers remains were NOT recovered from this crash.
Media reports at the time claimed that there were 4 Europeans on board the plane!.
The 212 passenger manifest list and ground personnel killed in the crash and fire did NOT name any 4 European names!
Also - even if this missing families remains had been within those recovered - because they would have been considered to have been Europeans based on their English passports they likely traveled under the medical examiner would have no way to have known to have searched the Australian DNA database for missing persons dna, to match with his remains!
Thus we have long term missing......
And most likely because no one has done their job properly!
The guy wasn't detected as a foreign intelligence operative, while in the country. They weren't detected at issue of Drivers Licenses and Passports in this country. They weren't detected leaving the country on foreign passports.
It is systematic failure like this that allows people to "go missing" & stay missing - and this is of little comfort to the families left behind.
What this shows is how missing persons is a deep dark area of law enforcement that many would prefer left undisturbed.
Take finding the remains of these long term missing kids.
If you cannot get the person who abducted and killed them to show you the spot where the remains are located, one of the best methods of locating such remains is with a forensic trained cadaver scenting dog & handler.
How surprising is it then that our own force for example don;t have such a dog within their police dog squad?
When they feel the need to search - (which isn't often) they "hire a dog and handler" from another states police force dog squad and fly them is for a couple of days work searching!
See what I mean about this police culture of not searching too hard if remains aren't stumbled upon at the crime scene?
So - one of the things I do is train my own Cadaver scenting dog and conduct searches for remains on behalf of the families when the Police etc have given up!
You really do have to feel sorry for these families - the whole issue is one that our communities, politicians and Police, (and intel agencies) do not want to face up to and deal with.
There are new techniques like familial DNA sequencing for example that could be used to help locate these long term missing kids - BUT there are also barriers to accessing some of the required DNA databases - due to civil rights issues and so on.
Essentially these families are the forgotten victims, they have no one to lobby on their behalf, they have no one to turn to for help.
Really speaking - long term missing persons when it relates to kids are often unsolved pedophile abduction / murder cases.
For as long as we keep our heads buried in the sand, these predators know only too well that as long as they dispose of their victims remains thoroughly they have little likelihood of being caught!
That can only change when society as a whole has had enough!.
Re: Long Term Missing Children
Very interesting post, great information and definately a recommended read for everyone!
Re: Long Term Missing Children
Around the world - these families of the long term missing suffer in silence.
Often when such a family suffer a tragedy like a missing child - their social network of friends and even extended family to an extent abandon them.
For many the constant reminder of their loss is a bummer and as a result they become social and family pariahs - left alone in their grief.
Because the cases aren't solved, the family's become dysfunctional, there's no closure, grieving and moving on with their lives - they live in the hope their child will come home one day.
Manic depression is often the result.
These families also don't have any support services - the public health system doesn't recognize them as in need of any help.
Often rumors start - if the missing child is female often the public will speculate the step father or father must have been responsible with incest behind the disappearance etc.
This makes employment for the family members difficult.
Basically society turns against them even tho its not conscious or deliberate.
There is no one to lobby politicians for these families to get resources or laws etc altered to make support services available to them.
Something else that has become quite clear, is that state police departments do not talk with each other about these types of 'non' crimes.
Its often the case that just one killer - who is "mobile" (interstate truck drivers for example) will commit 2 or 3 such crimes against these kids in one state - then move to another state for his criminal activities and commit 2 or 3 crimes against kids there and then move to a 3rd state and do the same - then back to the first state and start again.
Here is Oz - it seems as tho we could have a single guy who's responsible for up to 80 such crimes across 3 states spanning 30 or more years.
Occasionally such a criminal will slip up, get convicted for a reduced crime (say attempted murder) and spend anything up to 10 or more years incarcerated in one sate for the crime, and the other states police forces will just "assume" that their problem ceased / went away!
The states police force when he was convicted never ascertain about all the previous crimes - and as a result when he gets out - and goes off to one of the other states - the spree of abductions killings starts up again!
Its because of the lack of jurisdictional cross communication - the fact that data base aren't national or international even, that mobile offenders are able to lead such long careers of serial rape, abduction, murder and pedophilia against our communities children.
Yet - it's something not publicly discussed by the media!
We as a community do not want to know - who living among us has convictions for pedophilia, in order to keep our children safe. Even tho there are online resources to check this info for your neighborhood - who among us with children ever does so?
It's not until AFTER your child goes missing, that you get VERY interested, and by THEN its too late because you are the family who society turns against and shuns.
It has to be by far the greatest unspoken tragedy - that f long term missing children.
One only has to look at the case of the girl abducted for 25 years in USA and kept a prisoner and had 3 children to her abductor...
How do we as a society accept that failure on behalf of police in respect to a missing persons case?
IF we as a society actually knew what the REAL crime stats were for our areas - when the unsolved homicides and long term missing are included, we would be absolutely horrified - we simply wouldn't let our kids out on the street!
We actually have a 3rd world standard police force, masquerading as a first world standard professional police force - and massaging / manipulating the crime statistics, with all the dirty laundry hidden in the missing persons files.
That's been the inescapable outcome that my research thus far has revealed.
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