Recently a runaway who’d been gone for quite a long time was listed by the NCMEC as found safe. I knew this teenager’s mother had set up a Facebook about the disappearance, so I went there for details. It seems the runaway was arrested for something or other in a city hundreds of miles from home, then released, and the mom only found out about this after the fact and still has no idea where her child is now. But the runaway was located, briefly, and identity verified before they vanished again. Since this person is now over 18, the police had no obligation to hold them any longer than necessary or notify the parents — in fact, doing so would probably be illegal. So, even though the runaway’s parents have no idea where their kid is, and the police don’t know either since the now-18-year-old was released from jail, they are no longer “missing.”
It seems quite unfair and I don’t blame the mom for being distressed. But I don’t see any other way to handle the situation.
Today’s update took all night to write. I do mean all night: from approximately 11:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. I was researching and writing cases and doing very little else. (Mostly cause I felt guilty for not updating for ten days straight.) It wasn’t the number of cases — though I did add 15, up from my usual target of 10 — but the content: most of the cases were barely six months old, and several were highly publicized disappearances with a lot of articles etc. to read. Michelle Parker took forever. Ayla Reynolds took forever. But on the flip side we have Lisa Hearne, one of those “few details are available” cases that took a few minutes to write. So there you go.
I think cases like Michelle’s and Ayla’s showcase what Charley does best. I spent hours reading articles for those two, and condensed both cases down to six paragraphs (Michelle) and four (Ayla), so you can read for like ten minutes and get all the essential facts. Charley’s like the Wikipedia of American missing persons.