Dates of birth

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.

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7 thoughts on “Dates of birth

  1. visionjinx91 March 5, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    Lack of DOB always bothered me as well. The age listed really does make a difference; if you don’t know the DOB, you don’t know if they just turned that age, or are close to their next birthday. With the unidentified, the age ranges are already potentially inaccurate enough, so it’s best the MP’s age should be as accurate as possible. A case that comes to mind where the unidentified might be listed at the wrong age is Shaliegh Sharrie Phillips, she’s 12 years old and 5’7, I’ve always imagined her as being found but listed as the wrong age due to her height. Anyhow, getting back to the importance of DOB, it’s especially important in cases of teenagers, the ages 17 and 18 make a huge difference, because even though it’s only a year, 18 is considered a legal adult. What comes to mind is David Arthur Stack, he was last seen when he was 17 right before this 18th birthday, but found at 18.

    • Meaghan March 5, 2016 / 8:35 pm

      I agree with everything you said. It really bothers me that NamUs does not use the DOB because it opens them up to age mistakes, and they have happened occasionally, and NamUs is supposed to be the best we have to offer and should therefore strive to be as accurate as possible.

      • visionjinx91 March 6, 2016 / 11:24 am

        Correction about my comment: David Arthur Stack was 18 when he was found, but weeks from his 19th birthday. Anyways, I’ve had problems with NamUs in the past trying to see only the cases from my home state, but I have since figured it out. One thing I really do like about NamUs is that it shows the profile’s strength, which suggests the likeliness of being solved. Getting back to the DOB issue, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, even though they do mention the DOB, they only list the age they would be currently. This is very good for child abduction and runaway cases, but what about the other cases where they unfortunately aren’t likely living? I don’t like having to do the math to find the age they were when they went missing, it should be listed.

  2. tammy March 5, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    As I think all missing person as equally important I think for sure it would be better if the children that are possibly taken by the parent (noncustodial) should be listed as such. Most people don’t look for children who live with noncustodial because that aren’t really aware of the fact and the children don’t seem to be out of place. I think most of the time it could be over looked and children can change in appearance. The noncustodial parent photo should be available also.
    I think that what your doing is good everyone can be judge mental but the facts are most of them aren’t do anything, not even a part of what your doing. At least your trying to make a different

    • Meaghan March 5, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      If I have a photo or any info at all I will put it up. I know the NCMEC policy is not to put up any info about the abducting parent unless a felony warrant has been issued for their arrest in connection with the case. Worried about getting sued for defamation, I guess. People, usually abducting parents, have threatened me over the years but it has never gone beyond that and I don’t think it ever will.

      • Gomez Toth March 6, 2016 / 11:53 am

        Good for you! You are correct that none of those pathetic legal threats will ever fly. Truth is an absolute defense against defamation claims, and simply posting a photo of a MP’s parent is not defamation. Expressing an opinion on a matter of general public interest (i.e., that the displayed parent might have abducted the MP) is also not defamation. No-goodniks often use legal threats involving “defamation” to frighten bloggers and journalists into silence. If some moron and their equally moronic attorney is ever stupid enough to follow through on such a threat, rest assured that the certainty of their liability for covering all of your legal costs (which an army of attorneys would likely volunteer to provide pro bono anyway), to say nothing of the resultant Streisand Effect, would stop them dead in their tracks.

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