I mentioned this in an aside earlier, but I thought I would explain the NCMEC’s “restricted” cases, at least as far as I can understand them.
I was reading a reddit thread today and in some recent posts, they were talking about the Charley Project and someone said all you have to do to see if a child is missing is to put their name into the NCMEC search engine so why did I bother to put up recovery notices for the NCMEC children I had on my site?
Well, part of the reason is: no, you can’t actually tell for sure if the kid was recovered, just because their name is no longer viewable in the NCMEC database. They have a thing called “restricted” which means the child is still missing but the NCMEC wants their posters pulled out of public view. Now, there can be a lot of reasons for them to want that. I’m not going to question the organization’s motives or judge them for it. It’s just that my rule is “the person is listed as missing until they find him/her living, or the body.”
Sometimes a case is only listed as “restricted” for a little while before it goes back up. Sometimes it takes years before it goes back up. Sometimes it stays gone forever, even if the child is still missing. To say nothing of the many missing children that never make it into the NCMEC database to begin with. So looking a child up in their search is not a very reliable indicator as to whether they’re missing or not.
Also, there’s a second thing related to my resolved pages that I’ve been asked repeatedly about. In fact, some people who don’t know the truth have been making wildly incorrect statements about this matter, which is why I want to set the record straight. And it is this:
If a person disappears, and is subsequently found (living or dead, it doesn’t matter) and this is listed on Charley’s resolved page, and that formerly missing person or a relative of that formerly missing person or the relevant police department contacts me and asks me to remove the resolved notice, I will do it readily and without asking questions. Since I store every email I get, I can provide proof of this. The only time when I would refuse to remove the notice is if it was a family abduction case and the abducting relative is telling me to do it.
That is all I have to say about that.