Longtime readers of this blog will know that it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine that I want an MP’s date of birth included with their info. That’s mostly because, without that bit of information, it’s so easy to get the age wrong. Sometimes WAY wrong. And even if it’s off by just a year, that can cause problems.
Like, let’s say a coroner finds a Jane Doe and estimates she’s in her 20s. So people search for MPs who are between 20 and 29 years of age. And because certain sites don’t include the DOB, or they give just the year, it looks like the MP was 20 years old when she disappeared, when in fact she was 19, a few months short of her 20th birthday. So she doesn’t get included in the list of possibles, at least initially, and her body goes unidentified for longer than it should have been.
There’s also an annoying thing that pops up when the MP isn’t reported missing for a long time and the report gets confused and lists the age they would have been at the time they were reported missing as the age they were when they disappeared. Sometimes you can tell from other information in the report that this is obviously wrong: like if someone is listed as missing at age 25 but were last seen walking to high school.
Anyway. I had, years ago, posted a certain blog entry that talked about, among other things, the DOB problem. This entry resulted in a lot of commentroversy and people saying horrible things to each other and to me. One person, in addition to claiming the Charley Project was just a parasite that just leeched off other websites and contributed nothing of its own, said “very very few” websites gave DOBs anymore due to the risk of identity theft.
I knew that person was wrong (about “very very few” websites giving DOBs, anyway, the leech thing is a matter of opinion I guess) but just for kicks I decided to check today as to just how wrong that person was.
There are three really big national databases of American MPs online, ones with thousands listed: mine, NamUs and the NCMEC. Of those three, only NamUs does not give out DOBs of missing persons. (Some of my cases don’t have them, but only because I don’t have the info. When I do have it, I post it.)
There are loads of other, smaller MP orgs I’m not counting. Project Jason is a great one. Their website says they have 334 registered cases as of this writing, and the founder is a wonderful lady. They include DOBs. Off the top of my head I can only say that LostNMissing does not. I’m sure there are others, though.
I decided to look at state databases. By which I mean databases of missing persons in each of the 50 states, put up by some governmental body such as the state police and not by a private person or organization.
I decided to count the database even if it was really small, or included only children, but not count it if it just referred people to the people listed on NamUs as missing from that state.
I learned that 13 states, as far as I could tell, had no missing persons database online at all. Including ARIZONA. What the heck, Arizona? Your state has more missing persons per capita than any other. Get your act together.
(Maryland I’m not sure about. Googling “Maryland missing persons database” got me a link which Google said was a missing persons database, but it was broken. I’m not sure if this database has dates of birth or not, or whether it does in fact exist.)
As for states that did have state databases, there were 36 altogether — discounting Maryland — 25 of them had dates of birth of the missing included with their information. Only 11 did not.
Not only did half the states have MP databases with dates of birth, but more states had NO DATABASE AT ALL than had no DOBs for their missing.