And the latest in missing persons news

As covered in dozens of media outlets around the world, the IRS is withholding information that could lead to the location of scores, possibly hundreds, of missing children, mostly family abduction victims. Basically, it goes like this: Parent snatches kid. Parent and kid move to a new location. Parent gets job, files tax return. IRS keeps tax return with mailing address and refuses to give it to the police. (It occurs to me that adults who ran away as teens and also file tax returns could be located in this way too.) The IRS says they can’t release the information because of federal privacy laws. That remains to be seen; this is probably going to go to court. But there ought to be an amendment to those laws for cases like this. When they wrote the law, this situation wouldn’t have occurred to them — it’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t occur to anyone until it happens.

The Nassau County PD in New York are using Facebook to help find Kelly Morrissey, who’s been missing from her hometown of Lynwood, NY since 1984. She was 15 years old. Just five months later, a friend of hers was abducted and murdered. Three men were convicted in that case, but DNA testing exonerated them almost twenty years later. A few months after that girl’s murder, an older teenage girl in the area was kidnapped and killed. That case is unsolved. It’s not clear whether or not all of these are connected.

I found this blog entry about Oregon’s “Museum of Missing Children” (actually the website of the Oregon missing children clearinghouse) that talks about the problems with investigating missing child cold cases, and also the problem of child trafficking in Oregon.

And the Boston Herald has this article about Jennifer Fay, who’s been missing 21 years today. It doesn’t really tell anything new, though.

11 thoughts on “And the latest in missing persons news

  1. Candice November 14, 2010 / 7:46 pm

    *Actually, Jennifer’s been missing 21 years, not 11*
    Thanks for the updates.

    • Meaghan November 14, 2010 / 8:50 pm

      Whoops. Will fix.

  2. elisabeth November 14, 2010 / 11:13 pm

    On the IRS thing — if a runaway teenager or adult is missing under their own free will, do we want the IRS to release that information? Obviously it’s very sad for the people who care about them, but if someone is over 18, not wanted for a crime, and just doesn’t want to call home, it seems to me that they should have that right. Some people go missing for good reasons.

    Maybe in those cases the IRS could just say “this SSN was used on a tax return in [year]” and leave it there, so no one’s privacy is violated.

    • Meaghan November 14, 2010 / 11:31 pm

      Well, there are privacy laws relating to that as well. For missing adults, if the police find them, they aren’t allowed to tell their families where they’re at. They can only say, “We found her and she’s safe.”

  3. Catherine November 16, 2010 / 12:57 am

    Meaghan,
    I couldn’t find any other way to contact you, but I noticed that for the recently added cases of Richard Kirk Meyers and Karen Cecilia Tucker, you misspelled the named of the county they disappeared from. You spelt it “Callam”, but it’s actually “Clallam”. No biggie, but I thought I’d let you know 🙂

    Catherine, in Seattle

  4. J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 16, 2010 / 10:56 am

    Any latest word on the three persons missing from Mt. Vernon OH?

    • Meaghan November 16, 2010 / 11:28 am

      One of them turned up bound and gagged in some guy’s basement.

      • J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 16, 2010 / 11:55 am

        That still left three missing. Columbus TV10 has had live video from their helicopter from time to time, though it was flying over OSU today because of the bomb scare.

  5. Kat November 16, 2010 / 1:11 pm

    The Herald is one step from a tabloid most days. I am glad, new info or not, that they are profiling such a cold case.I’ve noticed with the Boston area papers that there are a few old unsolved cases that really hold the attention of the public, so people are paying attention. They wrote up Sarah Pryor for YEARS till she was finally found.

    • Meaghan November 16, 2010 / 1:19 pm

      I agree that any media attention for an old, cold case is a good thing. The Arizona Republic, a newspaper in I think Phoenix, does a regular cold case feature. It’s mostly unsolved murders but they have a few missing people as well.

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