My policy on people wanted on criminal charges is this: if the criminal charges are thought to be the primary reason they disappeared, I don’t put them up. Those people are considered “wanted” rather than “missing” in my eyes. On the other hand, if a person happens to be wanted for committing a crime but appears to have disappeared for other reasons, I will put them up. The more minor the charge, the more likely I am to post them, on the idea that a person’s not going to run from a few unpaid parking tickets but just might run from murder or armed robbery or suchlike.
Today I encountered a kind of case I’d never seen before: a man who is wanted, not by the police per se, but by the public health authorities. He’s got drug-resistant tuberculosis. It was apparently in remission or something by the time of his disappearance and he wasn’t contagious, but he still had to get regular treatment for it. Then he dropped of sight, I don’t know why, and stopped coming in for treatments. Without the medication his illness has certainly reactivated. It is now contagious and it’s going to kill him if he doesn’t get treatment. There’s a warrant out for his arrest and the county board of public health issued an alert for him.
Since he is listed in the CDOJ database of missing persons, I decided to add him to Charley too. Given the aggressive nature of tuberculosis, I have to wonder if the poor man is even still alive. My guess is if he is, he’s probably somewhere south of the border, which would explain why he hasn’t turned up after over a year.
(I’m actually quite interested in the history of tuberculosis and can recommend Thomas Dormandy’s The White Death as an excellent book on the subject.)