According to the Wall Street Journal an astounding 8-million children go missing around the world each year. In the US alone over 800,000 children go missing annually. That figure is probably underestimated due to the children that go missing and are unreported. There are non-family abductions, runaways, family abductions, and involuntary events such as accidents or vehicle crashes, causing injury, and the person is unable to notify family or friends of their whereabouts. The majority of children are safely found and/or returned, but for the families and friends of those that go missing and are never found---that is of no comfort.
A missing child is a person defined under the age of 18. Countries around the world have systems in place that don't require a specific amount of time before they can be put into action to expedite finding the lost child. People over the age of 18 are often required to be missing a certain amount of hours or days before a missing persons report can be filed and authorities are notified to start looking for the missing person. This can be extremely frustrating for loved ones as crucial minutes tick by before they can receive help. Adults that go missing oftentimes do so willingly for either personal or financial reasons.
Over the course of history, children and adults have gone missing under some very scary circumstances. Here are 15 of the scariest unsolved missing person cases.
15 Amy Lynn Bradley
In 1998, 23-year-old Amy Lynn Bradley went missing while on a Caribbean cruise. Her father last saw her asleep on the stateroom's balcony around 5am. When he got up at 6am she had disappeared. The ship was searched from top to bottom. Nothing turned up. Investigators do not believe she fell overboard or committed suicide.
14 Harold Holt
Harold Holt was the 17th Prime Minister of Australia. Harold was a very experienced swimmer and diver. He was well-known for his endurance and athleticism.
13 Tara Calico
19 year old Tara Calico said goodbye to her mother and went out for a quick bike ride. She was never seen from again. The only evidence found was her cracked Walkman case--it was found along the side of the road.
Witnesses said they saw a van following close behind her, but other than that investigators turned up nothing. Less than a year later in 1989 a mysterious photograph was found in the parking lot of a convenience store. The photo was of two bound kids in the back of what looks like a windowless van. They have tape over their mouths and a scared look in their eyes. The girl looked similar to Tara, so similar that her mother believed it was her daughter. Next to the girl in the picture was the V.C. Andrews book "My Sweet Audrina". This book was one of Tara's favorites. Did her kidnapper buy it or was it planted there because of sick and twisted story line of brainwashing?
12 Louis Mackerley
Louis Mackerley has been missing from his Allentown, Pennsylvania home since June 7th, 1984. The charismatic 7 year old was last seen on his way to his neighbor's house. He frequently visited his elderly neighbor. On this particular day he was being chased by some older boys so he stopped at a food stand before continuing on his way.
11 Natalee Holloway
The case of Natalee Holloway has perplexed and provoked the curiosity of millions around the world. In 2005, Natalee disappeared while on a high school graduation class trip to Aruba. She had been at a club with friends and was last seen getting into a car with three local men: Joran van der Sloot, Satish Kalpoe, and Deepak Kalpoe. When Natalee missed her flight back to the US the next morning, the alarm was raised. Where was Natalee?
Natalee's parents immediately flew to Aruba to look for their daughter. They found her belongings packed and ready to go in her hotel room but no sign of Natalee. The authorities focused on the three well-known young men who were the last people seen with Natalee.
Over the years there were many interrogations. Natalee's mother, Beth, is a firm believer that the key to her daughter's disappearance is held by Joran and the Kalpoe brothers.
10 Maria Des Los Angeles Martinez
On October 12th, 1990, Maria Des Los Angeles Martinez, called into a Phoenix, Arizona radio station to advertise her services as a babysitter. A caller then contacted the station and requested Maria's services, as he had children and needed a babysitter for the following day.
9 Paula Weldon
It was just another ordinary December day for Paula Weldon when she decided to go for a walk a few miles off campus. She went to hike the Long Trail in Bennington, Vermont. She had never been on this particular trail but was an avid outdoors lover. She hitchhiked her way to the start of the trail. Several witnesses reported to see her at various points along the trail.
8 Kyron Hormon
On June 4th, 2010, 7 year old Kyron Hormon disappeared from Skyline Elementary School. His stepmother was at the school in the morning attending his science fair. She took a photo of him standing at his science project. That photo is the last known photo of Kyron.
His stepmother, Terry, said that she said goodbye to Kyron, and watched him walk away towards his classroom. He never reached that classroom. Suspicion immediately fell on Terry. After investigators started narrowing their suspects, Terry was looking like the prime suspect in Kyron's disappearance. The Hormon's landscaper came forward and said that Terry had offered him a great deal of money to kill Kyron's father, Kaine. The police tried to get the landscaper to catch Terry on tape admitting to this but were unable to. Kaine became devastated and terrified of his wife and asked the courts for an immediate divorce and restraining order against Terry. It was granted.
7 The Springfield Three
"The Springfield Three" refers to a group of three missing women that disappeared together. Sherrill Levitt was the mother of Suzie Streeter, and Stacy McCall was Suzie's friend. All three went missing from Sherrill and Suzie's house on Delmar Street, Springfield, Missouri, on July 7, 1992.
Suzie and Stacy had been out with friends the previous night, attending different graduation parties. They were last seen at 2am on July 7th, leaving a graduation party. They subsequently made their way back to Suzie's house. Suzie's mother was already in bed. Dozens of people descended on the house the following morning when the trio couldn't be contacted by phone. Any crime scene that was there was now extremely contaminated. There was no evidence of a struggle and their purses and personal belongings were all accounted for.
6 Rebecca Coriam
Rebecca Coriam worked on a Disney cruise liner. On March 22nd, 2011, Rebecca was on the ship at 6am. This is a known fact because Disney has produced footage taken from the ship's security cameras showing Rebecca in the lobby talking on the phone before walking off never to be seen again.
Disney claims they know for sure that Rebecca fell out of the crew swimming pool and was washed overboard. How do they know this? That is the question because they also claim to not have any security cameras in that area of the ship. There's also the fact that there is a huge 7 ft tall barrier from the crew swimming to and the wide open ocean. She would have had to scale the wall and knowingly jump to her death or be washed overboard by a gigantic 40 foot tall wave. Neither are very likely.
5 Madeleine McCann
The case of Madeleine McCann made huge international headlines when she disappeared on May 3rd, 2007, from a resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. She was asleep in her bed while her parents dined in a restaurant with friends less than 200 feet away. Her parents checked on her every half hour until the alarm was raised when her mother, Dr. Kate McCann, who returned from their resort apartment screaming that Madeleine was missing.
Resort guests and staff immediately began searching the resort and surrounding area for the three year old girl. Police descended on the area and began interviewing staff and searching waterways. The parents remembered that whenever they checked on their children the bedroom door would be open and they would close it. It seemed unlikely that Madeleine or her twin two-year-old siblings were getting up and opening the door. Also, when Kate checked on her children the last time and discovered Madeleine's empty bed she also found the window wide open.
Speculation is that someone had noticed the restaurant reservation book. The McCanns and their friends (dubbed the "Tapas Seven" by the media) had made reservations for every night of their resort stay at the same tapas restaurant. Whoever took their reservation wrote that they were to have the same table at the same time every night & that the groups children would be staying in their rooms while the parents dined.
4 Laureen Rahn
Laureen Rahn disappeared from her apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, on April 26, 1980. She had been left alone at home while her mother attended a sporting event. Laureen had two friends over the night before she was reported missing. They were drinking alcohol and having a good time. The last friend to leave reported that they had heard voices in the hallway and assumed it was Laureen's mother returning home so he quickly left. He said he heard Laureen lock the deadbolt when he left.
3 Zebb Quinn
Zebb Quinn went missing in January 2000. After Zebb finished his shift at Walmart, he met his friend Robert Owens to go look at the car he was considering buying. They each drove separately to go look at the car. However, on the way there--according to Robert--Zebb received a page and flashed his headlights at Robert to pull over. He told Robert he needed to go find a phone. He found a phone and made a call. Robert said after the call Zebb appeared distraught. He said he was going to have to look at the car another time. As he was leaving he accidentally hit Robert's car. It was a minor fender bender so no report was taken. Robert and Zebb parted ways.
The following morning Zebb was reported missing by his mother. Police traced the call Zebb received to the home of Zebb's aunt. Strangely Zebb's aunt was not at home at the time the call was placed. Zebb's aunt was at the home of Zebb's new girlfriend's mother having dinner with his girlfriend Misty, her mother, and Misty's on-gain, off-again boyfriend, Wesley. Zebb had told his family that Wesley was abusive to Misty.
Zebb's aunt reported that while she was at dinner her home had been broken into. The only thing was --nothing was stolen. Whoever the intruder was, rearranged a few picture frames and placed the call to Zebb. If the police didn't think this case could get any weirder--they were wrong. Two weeks after Zebb's disappearance his car was found near his mother's workplace. A pair of lips were drawn on the back window and a lab puppy was found inside. This new discovery definitely threw investigators for a loop.
2 Maura Murray
21-year-old Maura Murray was involved in a car crash on February 4, 2004. She was having emotional issues at the time of the crash and had been acting strangely weeks prior to the accident. Maura had been having relationship and school issues. She was under a great deal of stress. She didn't tell anyone she was going anywhere, but withdrew $250 from an ATM, and purchased quite a bit of alcohol before heading off for what investigators believe was Vermont.
The crash occurred on Route 112. It was the middle of winter but visibility was good and roads were snowy but not treacherous. The accident was reported by several witnesses including a school bus driver. The bus driver had seen Maura outside the vehicle and asked if she needed help. She insisted she did not, and told the bus driver she had already called for help, which was later determined to be a lie. When officers showed up at the crash location they found no sign of Maura. There was evidence of her having been drinking alcohol but her personal effects were gone. Both air bags had been deployed and the windshield was cracked.
1 Jennifer Kesse
Jennifer Kesse lived in Orlando, Florida until her disappearance in 2006. Jennifer was last seen January 23, 2006, leaving work around 6pm, before she headed home. She was last heard from around 10pm by her boyfriend. Typically she would call him every morning while she drove into work. He found it strange and called her but it went to voicemail. It wasn't until Jennifer didn't show up for work that the alarm was raised. Her employer called her parents who drove straight to her apartment. There was nothing out of the ordinary. No sign of forced entry or anything stolen. They did find a wet towel and evidence that she had taken her morning shower and got ready for work. Her car was missing.
On January 26th, Jennifer's car was found in a neighboring apartment block. Police obtained security camera footage that showed a male subject driving the car into the parking lot and leaving. Unfortunately, everyone was beyond devastated to find that the footage wasn't any good--it didn't show the subject's face.
There had been construction going on at the apartment complex where Jennifer lived. Jennifer had said that they had made cat calls to her, and whistled when she would walk by. What happened to Jennifer? No evidence or clue into Jennifer's disappearance has ever been found.
Sources: Wikipedia, CharleyProject
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