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Missing adults, people vanishing; why doesn't the media feature more of these stories? Does the public care?

Updated on February 20, 2015


If someone you knew to be responsible vanished what would you do?

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Missing or taking a break?

Is it because we have this preconceived notion that a missing adult has just fled there life or as I have heard said before, "everyone has the right to go missing."Do you know someone who is responsible and has never missed a day of work or someone who calls home everyday at the same time to ask how things are going? If so, let me ask you what you would think if that person suddenly went missing and wasn't heard from again. Would you automatically think they had just taken off, or would you think they had ran into foul play?

Brandon Lawson-Missing

Please contact me if you recognize this person!
Please contact me if you recognize this person! | Source

Just hit share

I have mentioned my frustration with how hard it is to get people to "share" posts on FB regarding missing people. Now if you post a picture of a dog or cat and a catchy phrase it will be shared by thousands of dog and cat lovers. Where are the human being lovers these days? Where is our compassion? I have posted missing posters of woman who have children that have somehow vanished and I can't get 1 share.

I have figured out the reason for this. People in most cases can only relate to something that has personally touched there own lives. A missing person poster on Facebook is no fun, it doesn't make you laugh. It is a heavy, unfortunate situation and unless you have had a person close to you go missing, it's hard to relate to. If something terrible happened to my family member, I would want people to share my loved ones poster, or my own poster for example. We all donate to causes, sometimes I find myself being solicited for causes on a daily basis, from the grocery store to the girl scouts who knock on my door. I don't have a girl scout in my house and I don't have a child with epilepsy but I still donate a dollar here and there.

Sierra Lamar Kidnapped

If you have seen this woman please contact local authorities or message me.
If you have seen this woman please contact local authorities or message me. | Source


When I ask you to share a poster, I'm not asking you to dig into your wallet for me. Sharing a post is pretty simple. So why is so hard to get people to help spread awareness? Is it because the people who I work with are adult missing people? Adults generally do not garner the same attention as children but I think a missing mother of 3 is just as important. When you share an adults missing poster, you are not just getting that persons face exposure, you are also giving the family hope. Hope that someone might recognize them, hope that they will be found and also just the comfort in knowing people CARE, they CARE enough to post your family members picture. This is kind of the same logic as the power of group prayer, the more people pray (supposedly) the more possibility your prayer will be answered.

Missing- Billy Smolinski


Let me give you some statistics from USDA.GOV on missing adults that help you see how COMMON this is:

Reports of missing persons have increased by 6x in the past 25 years, from 150,000 in 1980 to about 900,000 this year.

Slightly more than half 25,500 of the missing are men.

4 out of 10 missing adults are white, three of 10 black and two of 10 Latino.

--> 2300 people per day go missing including both adults and children<--

This is not a movie. It is real life

© 2014 Karen Ranoni


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    • Karen Ranoni profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ranoni 

      5 years ago from Romeo, MI

      If the missing poster is still being circulated then the person is still actively missing. If they have been found then all gov't websites and nonprofits take down the missing poster and amend them to say either safely returned or earthly body recovered, :)

    • cathylynn99 profile image


      5 years ago from northeastern US

      i never share these posts on facebook unless they have a date. for all i know, it's a year later and the case has been solved.

    • Karen Ranoni profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ranoni 

      5 years ago from Romeo, MI

      I see what you are saying, I also know people who have just checked out because they needed a break...I think I myself have done that in my younger years lol. But a lot of cases I work are people who have without a doubt met with foul play and the police have run out of interest and resources and the case goes cold. That is what really frustrates me! Thank you so much for commenting.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 

      5 years ago

      I think you have to treat each case on its merits. I was part of a successful facebook campaign last year to find a local woman who had gone missing. Turns out she just needed a break and went on a long visit to friends without telling anybody. It was out of character for her, though, and so everybody was worried.

      On the other hand I have a friend who has gone missing four or five times over the years, again when he needs a break, and now we are not concerned.

      It saddens me to think that people don't share just because they don't know a person. I have seen a number of campaigns that have been shared in the UK for people who lived hundreds of miles away.


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