Technology Doesn’t Keep People from Going Missing

Halli Resinger, Reporter

With all of the technology today, people can be found all over the world by using social media or tracking cell phones. But sometimes people can go missing without a trace.  

Cpl. Kyle Hess of the Tulsa County sheriff’s department says that when teens or kids run away, “they just want to be missing.” When they do this, they don’t use electronic devices they have so that they won’t be found. Adults, Hess says, usually run away so that they can get away from their spouses.  

“People that run away don’t use their phones and people who are abducted usually aren’t allowed to use their phones,” he says.

When investigators try to find people who ran away or were abducted, they treat the cases the same way.  

“If they are missing, they are missing,” Hess says.

When the Tulsa sheriff’s department gets a cold case, Hess says he and other deputies always going back through all information to find clues that they could’ve missed.  

On average, the Tulsa County sheriff’s department gets three calls a week about missing people.

People of all ages can go missing around the world at any time. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Institution and Unidentified Persons System provide some significant statistics.  

  • There were 10,093 reports of possible child sex trafficking that the center for missing and exploited children responded to in 2017.  
  • When people plan an abduction, they usually bring a weapon with them, but they don’t end up using it.  
  • There is a list of criminal characteristics that were formed from an analysis of 325 child abduction cases occurring from 1965 to September 2018. Among them are: the abductor said that she lost her baby or is incapable of having one; she impersonates a nurse or other health-care personnel; the abductor can live in the same community as the child who vanishes; the person usually plans the abduction won’t target a specific infant; and the criminal frequently seizes any opportunity to abduct an infant.  
  • Every year, 600,000 individuals go missing, and 4,400 unidentified bodies are found.
  • There are 14,826 open missing-person cases and 15,890 resolved cases.
  • There are 12,240 open unidentified persons cases and 3,482 resolved cases.