I can’t do it, but it would be really great, and make NamUs more user-friendly, if people would round up all the cases from each city (say, San Francisco, California) and make sure they’re listed under the city of San Francisco, California and nowhere else.
I decided, on a whim, to do San Francisco cases today. And this is what happens when I try to type “San Francisco” into the appropriate slot in the form:
I’m having to check all those misspelled ones and the ones in all capital letters or no capital letters see if there’s anyone listed under there. Sometimes there is, but sometimes there isn’t.
They really all ought to be listed under just “San Francisco” and nowhere else. I’m just sayin’. And other cities have the same problem. Here’s two other examples:
It’s got to the point where, when I start looking at the people on NamUs who went missing just over a year ago and can now be added to Charley, or at the runaways listed on the NCMEC (most of which are missing two years before I add them to Charley), I am initially unsure whether these people are REALLY missing or not. I would estimate 10% of the time or sometimes more, those people were found long ago and have just not been removed from the databases. A simple Google search will reveal that these people are not missing.
Given how well-funded and famous both NamUs and the NCMEC are, this is really inexcusable. I should not have to be checking on this; they should be at least reliable enough that the people they say as missing are, in fact, missing. I have written before about the real-life consequences this could lead to for the no-longer-missing person.
Honestly I don’t think it’s appropriate for NamUs to have people added that only disappeared a couple of days ago. It’s very unlikely that the NamUs database can assist in cases as recent as that, and very likely that the person will turn up one way or another, and often when that happens, for whatever reason they don’t get taken off NamUs and a year or more later they’re still on there.
I don’t know why it happens, whether it’s lack of money, lack of staff, some kind of bureaucratic tangle, just plain laziness, or what. I don’t know that much about the inner workings of NamUs or the NCMEC. I just know that this is completely unacceptable and a waste of everyone’s time and effort.
There’s nothing I can do about it, I suppose, and NamUs and the NCMEC definitely don’t listen to me, seeing as how I’ve been complaining about this issue for months. Just wanted to vent. Again.
Has anyone gotten any emails at all about updates to NamUs cases they’ve tracked since the database got redesigned back in June? Because I haven’t.
Per the NamUs case for James Charles Stanford, “James had told family members before he went missing that he wanted to move to Texas or California to join a convent.”
But James is male. And not even a little child, a teenager. I’m pretty sure they don’t let teenage boys join convents. That has got to be frowned upon at the very least.
Do they mean a monastery maybe?
So I wrote up a runaway case off the NCMEC. Her name is Breanna. After I wrote up the basics from her poster, I was doing more research on the case for details to add to her casefile. She wasn’t in NamUs. I soon discovered why: an article saying she was found safe in August 2016.
I called the NCMEC about this and yup, she was found safe almost two years ago. But she’s still on their website. This is like the sixth time this has happened.
NamUs did have another Breanna listed, a young woman, so I decided to post that case instead. And the same thing happened: I wrote up the case with the NamUs details, then on further research discovered this Breanna had been found murdered in January 2017, only a few months after she disappeared. And she is still on NamUs.
I am seriously fed up.
So NamUs 2.0 has been launched and I have to say, I personally like the improvements a lot. It’s nice to have everything on one page, for example, instead of having to keep clicking through multiple sections. You can search for more than one state at a time.
Best of all, you can now follow more than 50 cases! I’ve spent the last day or so going through cases just following them. It’s going to take awhile obviously. But being able to follow more cases is just great for me.
So I just added the case of Charles Edward Tear, missing from Fargo, North Dakota, to Charley. And there’s an issue. Namely this:
Tear’s NamUs profile gives the date of disappearance as June 29, 2011. But this article has it as June 29, 2001.
One or the other of them is clearly wrong, but I’m damned if I know which. The difference is simply the slip of a finger, a typo. Oh, and ten full years.
I’m going with what NamUs says for now, but I wish I was more certain that was accurate. NamUs isn’t always correct. (Case in point: Tejin Thomas is still listed as a girl on there.)
Writing up a case and she’s got tattoos. Her NamUs page mentions several, including “Right shoulder: Tiger Lilly”. Which gives me pause.
Because several species of lily are sometimes called “tiger lily” (note the spelling difference). There’s also a character in the Peter Pan book and Disney animated movie called Tiger Lily (again, spelled differently), and this MP has a Mickey Mouse tattoo, and that’s also a Disney character.
I believe this MP’s tattoo is neither of those and “Right shoulder: Tiger Lilly” means the WORDS “Tiger Lilly”, probably someone’s name. But that’s only an educated guess and I wish people would be more clear.
[EDIT:] Orrrr perhaps not. See this photo of her.