I really hate it when I find people listed as missing on government sites who have already been found. Particularly if they were found quite a long time ago, long past the time when the “I just haven’t gotten around to removing it yet” excuse reaches its expiration date.
Now, sometimes I don’t find out that one of my Charley Project MPs was located until months (or more) after the fact. (More than once I’ve been enlightened by the no-longer-missing person themselves.) It’s quite embarrassing for me when this happens. But oversights like that on my part are understandable: I am one person, working on her own, and a civilian at that, with no access to any kind of government databases and stuff like the NCIC.
I was thinking in particular of a woman I put up just the other day, who had disappeared in 2010. I couldn’t find any press on the case but there was a page for her in the state database so I used that information. If you can’t rely on official state or federal databases, what can you rely on? I put her case up…and got an email from someone directing me to this woman’s obituary. No word as to when she was found, but she died of natural causes early this year. 2013, I mean. My guess would be that she was missing for only a matter of days. Nothing I could do but take it off again. If she hadn’t died in January and got an obituary, I would never have known she’d been found at all.
There is no excuse for that kind of thing. None. The fact that this person is still listed as missing is going to be confusing and misleading for people trying to identify bodies, and so on. And she took up a slot on that day’s Charley Project updates that could have gone to any of the other hundreds of MPs that I haven’t posted yet.
This isn’t a problem with just one particular state or another. I’ve seen it happen with a lot of state databases. I know government employees, including whoever is actually sitting behind the computer running those databases, are often overworked and underpaid, but it seems to me that if they can find time to add new cases, they should be able to find time to remove resolved ones too.
*end of rant*