I was just reading this article about a woman named Latrice Long-Payton, who had been missing since September 26. A few days ago, Latrice’s body turned up in a trash can and two suspects are in jail for her murder.
Latrice’s family was concerned about her and attempted to report her missing weeks before her body was found. The police refused to accept the report. From the article it’s not clear what difference it would have made — perhaps Latrice was already dead by then. But it definitely raises an interesting question.
The cops refused to accept the report because Latrice already had a warrant out for her arrest for a traffic violation. That the warrant had actually been issued on October 6, AFTER Latrice’s disappearance, didn’t matter to them. They had a policy of not accepting missing persons reports for people who were fugitives. Period.
That policy sounds sensible on the face of it, but like a lot of inflexible rules, can lead to serious problems, Latrice being one of them. It seems like the notion of accepting a report for someone who has an active warrant or warrants is something that should be decided on a case-by-case basis. I certainly wouldn’t run from a traffic warrant, and I think most people would not. I might, however, run from a warrant for, say, murder. Did Latrice have a criminal record? Did she have a history of running from even minor charges?