MP of the week: Jason Armstrong

I’m at home. Internet is not shut off yet, so I took the opportunity to update my missing person of the week. This time it’s 18-year-old Jason Lee Armstrong, missing from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Unfortunately I know very little about his case, not even the exact date of disappearance — just that his family last heard from him sometime in August 2000. He wasn’t reported missing till 2004.

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6 thoughts on “MP of the week: Jason Armstrong

  1. Jesse April 12, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    In your experience, what kind of thing results in years, even decades, elapsing before someone is reported missing? It’s just a little beyond me to think “goodness, I haven’t seen X in 40 years, better file a report”, but maybe dealing with someone who’s addicted or determined to live on the streets would wear you down? What say you?

    • Mia April 13, 2017 / 10:36 pm

      I can give you an example – I know someone who probably wouldn’t be reported missing for a long, long time. His mother is deceased, he’s estranged from his father, brother and the rest of his family. He has no social media presence and is known for skipping town and leaving bills unpaid and apartments abandoned. It’d be a long time before anyone wondered what happened to him.

    • Meaghan April 13, 2017 / 11:09 pm

      That’s a pretty good example, Mia.

      When adults aren’t reported missing for a long time — assuming no one is deliberately trying to cover up the disappearance — they often fit a certain profile: drifters, on the margins of society. Sporadically employed. Estranged from relatives and friends. Maybe dealing with some mental illness and/or substance abuse issues, maybe homeless. Their family is used to going months or years without hearing from them, and so it takes a very long time before they become apprehensive enough to file a report.

  2. jaclyn April 14, 2017 / 3:19 am

    My husband works at a drop in center for the homeless that is open 3 days a week. Many of the guys (they are mostly men) have aliases. They move frequently, never really staying in one place. Yes, many have mental illnesses, paranoia, ptsd, and also no strong ties anywhere. My husband is just a listening ear, and shows them kindness and compassion. As some of them have come to trust him and open up, their stories are very sad indeed. It takes quite a while before they trust anyone’s motives toward them. They really aren’t there for a hand-out, because that is not what this center is for, so he believes that most of them are telling the truth. He mentioned that some tell him that their families do not want any contact. I’d say 1/4 of them travel across state lines, but some are just up and down the coast of CA because the weather remains pretty temperate.

  3. Gomez Toth April 14, 2017 / 4:44 am

    This case raises other, although perhaps unrelated, questions regarding witness protection programs. I know pretty much nothing about such programs, and they might be an interesting focus of further discussion, vis-a-vis missing persons, by someone much more knowledgeable than me (Hello, Meaghan!)

    Would, or does, law enforcement use missing person reports as a mechanism to help witnesses who are being protected? It might conceivably be an effective tool to confuse or otherwise throw off potential pursuers, although I could easily imagine LE never admitting to it. Could the affected families be reasonably expected to publicly play along with such a charade? Or would they also be kept ignorant?

    Some of the people listed on this site certainly *seem* to be logical candidates for a witness protection program. I wonder how many people publicly reported as missing are actually being protected? The physical person is not missing per se, but their identity/life is. How might we ever know?

    • Meaghan April 15, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      I don’t know for sure whether LE uses missing persons reports to hide witnesses, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, because the point of a missing persons report is to get people to look for the (allegedly) missing person. Furthermore, anyone who enters witness protection has to eventually become a witness — that is, come forward into the public eye and provide the very testimony that was the reason they went into hiding. I think generally when witnesses go into witness protection it’s simply said “they’re in witness protection and we have no further information as to their whereabouts” and left at that.

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