The phrase “missing person” conjures up images of serial killers, human traffickers, and terrible endings. The absence is just a stop on the way to the “discovered body”. But sometimes, notably, missing people are found alive. Most of the time, it is not diligent investigators who uncover criminal activity. Instead, kidnapped people escape or bureaucratic hiccups reveal runaways and suspected identities. Here are five of those people.
5 missing people found
William Howard Hughes
Missing 35 years
An investigation into passport fraud ended a 1
Kamiyah Teresiah Tasha Mobley
19 years are missing
Gloria Williams kidnapped Mobley from a Florida hospital when she was less than eight hours old. She posed as a nurse by wearing scrubs and wore a wig and glasses to disguise her identity. Williams chatted with Mobley’s mother, Shanara Mobley, before taking Kamiyah and leaving the hospital. Williams raised Mobley as her own along with her two children for the next 18 years. Mobley refers to Williams as her mother and describes her as “not a criminal”.
Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus
10 years missing
Ariel Castro kidnapped the three women and held them in his Cleveland home for ten years before Berry asked a neighbor for help. The neighbors broke into Castro’s front door, and Berry and her 6-year-old daughter fled to call the police who found Knight and DeJesus in the subsequent raid. A court has tried Castro on 977 counts and sentenced him to consecutive life imprisonment plus 1,000 years with no parole. He committed suicide a month after he was arrested.
23 days missing
Not every missing person story is a heartbreaking plot of loss and insecurity. Sometimes it’s all about good old-fashioned greed. Like the case of Shannon Matthews in West Yorkshire, England. Her mother, Karen Matthews, and the uncle of her mother’s boyfriend, Micahel Donovan, had a scam to “kidnap” Shannon. After Donovan generated enough advertising and reward money, he “found” Shannon and collected the reward. Police broke into Donovan’s home after neighbors heard strange noises and found 8-year-old Shannon being drugged and detained in a bedroom.
88 days missing
In 2018, Jake Patterson broke into the Closs Wisconsin home, killed Jayme’s parents and kidnapped the 13-year-old. Patterson forced Closs to live under his bed in his northern Wisconsin cabin for nearly three months before she could escape and called on a neighbor for help. A judge sentenced Patterson to two consecutive life sentences and described him as a sheer evil.
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