People Who Have Been Declared Missing Share Their Story

I have been found!

People Who Have Been Declared Missing Share Their Story
Photo by Alexander Lam on Unsplash

Searching for a missing loved one is one of the singular most terrifying experiences in life. You pray that every second they are gone that they're not suffering. And never mind the trauma one suffers when they are a person missing due to nefarious circumstances. Often times what starts as a missing persons situation quickly ends peacefully, sometimes kids wonder off and adults take time away without letting anyone know or without thinking. But better to have a return alive story than not.

Redditor u/airherman wanted to hear the details from those who came home by asking...
Redditors who have gone/were declared missing, what is your story?

Being 8....

screaming macaulay culkin GIF by Home AloneGiphy

I was eight and on vacation. Decided to go for a walk without telling anyone. Played all afternoon an the beach. Came at night.

Oooo boy was everyone mad. I was having tons of fun. I made a sand fortress and watched it fight with the coming tide.

I did not get lost. I have always been good with my bearings.


"sore feet"

As a paramedic we once attended a call for a male with "sore feet".

Attended a lay-by by the side of a road to a perfectly polite chap, who did have some very nasty blisters. He'd been to a family funeral, got a bit upset and had gone for a walk to clear his head, then just kept walking. For four days.

Turns out he was from the same area as where I grew up (about 250 miles away) and we reminisced about the country side and some of the good pubs etc. He admitted that maybe he was a bit depressed and probably needed some help, unfortunately all we could offer was a trip to hospital, but we did what we could.

Later that shift I'm perusing Facebook and see an old school friend has shared a missing person appeal. It's our walking patient!I rang the police and told them where our chap was, and they were very pleased.


For the love of candy....

Reminds me of my cousin, suddenly he disappeared and everyone was frantically looking for him, then he comes back a couple of hours later, turns out he went to the convenience store without telling anyone, bought food and candy, then stayed behind the house to eat so that no one can see him and he doesn't have to share.


Not my Money! 

I forget how old I was but I was probably around 10. My friend and I started raking leaves for cash around our suburban neighborhood. We kept going house to house asking anyone who had a tree in their yard if they wanted them raked for $5.

We eventually went to so many houses we got ourselves lost within the criss cross streets of the neighborhood since we really never left our block of houses beforehand. Then the sun set and we found ourselves lost trying to recognize street names or anything familiar in the dark with only street lights lighting the way.

Eventually as were wandering lost we hear cop sirens and lights blare and pull over and ask for our names. We got picked up and taken back to our houses. It felt like a long drive to us 10 year olds but in reality it was like 4 blocks lol

Boy did we get the biggest scolding ever and our parents took our hard earned money.


How Sweet....

Little Rascals Awww GIFGiphy

I was on vacation for 3 weeks. In the 2nd week my Boss called me and asked if everything is ok because the police called them and told them that I was declared missing. My neighbor called the police because he didn't hear me for over a week and was worried about me... was kind of a good feeling.


Playing Chicken...


I was around the same age when my family went to the Philippines to visit family. My parents were out seeing the sights, and I was at my Aunt's apartment.

Down the street was my cousin's house and I texted her and asked if she wanted to hang out. So I left without asking and we went all over town. Keep in mind she was like 2-3 years older than I was.

So we end up at another cousins house (no blood relation), and we're playing Chicken Little on the playstation. My parents get in touch with my aunt and they've been trying to track me down because they thought I had gotten kidnapped.



i left the abusive household i grew up in, leaving a note clearly stating my intentions to never return. an hour or two later i received a call from the police stating that i'd been declared missing. i explained to them my circumstances and they wished me well. since i was of age, i was free. it'll be three years soon.

EDIT :holy guacamole, there's so many of you! i woke up this morning to a whole lot of love and i'm so thankful for each and every one of you beautiful people. i was going to try and answer everyone individually but i'm starting to realize that it's a bit of a momentous task so i want to thank youse all collectively for the awards, and for sharing your own stories. i'm proud of those of you who took the necessary steps to secure your freedom and happiness. i know that it can get lonely in this big old world of ours, so if anybody needs a friend to chitchat with, my inbox is open. and seriously, thank youse all again. my heart is fuzzy and warm today.


You're It! 

The story of how I went "missing" is also one of my first memories. When I was 5, I went on holiday with my family to Scotland. We were in the middle of nowhere surrounding by nothing but land dominated by trees.

There wasn't much to do, so my sister and I played hide and seek. I thought it would be a great idea to hide right next to the front door of the cottage we were staying in, inside of a giant bush.

I watched my sister look for me for about 5 minutes, until she clearly gave up and went inside. However I never give up on anything, and decided to stay until I was found.

After a short period, 15 minutes or so... more people started playing the game. I now watched my parents sprint around in front of me, while I silently giggled in the bush thinking "I'm so good at this game".

More and more people started to play, other holiday-goers in cottages nearby, park rangers and police. I stayed in that bush for hours and hours until it got dark, having the time of my life.

My sister was only 7, so she didn't help look for me and just sat by the doorstep. As it got darker outside, my yellow jacket got brighter and after a whole day of searching for me in the nearby woods, my sister realized I was stood right next to her.

Best game of hide and seek ever.


A Bad Day...

The day the Boston Marathon got bombed, the cell network crashed because of so many people trying to find loved ones. Now, I was a student in Boston at the time, and I was also a volunteer EMT. So I got called into service and only had time to call my father before the network crashed. My dad called my mom and sister, but not my friends or any of my extended family.

Hours later when the networks stabilized, I had voicemails and texts from all up and down the east coast: "where are you are you ok??" "Are you part of the EMT response??" "What's going on??" Aunts, uncles, my boyfriend... And I'm just like "listen, everyone, I'm out RESPONDING TO A TERRORIST ATTACK, can y'all talk to each other??"



secret GIF by PoweradeGiphy

My cousin was kidnapped when he was very young maybe 4/5 my aunt was living in Belgium at the time, he was kidnapped and thrown in a car, witnessed by many people, police were called, my poor aunt was frantic, he was left at the side of a road about 8 hours later, but to this day they never found out who took him, were they took him to, and what happened to him while he was gone. It's a taboo subject that I could never bring up to my aunt.


At 15....

I ran away from home due to my alcoholic step mom. My dad would always file a missing person report and cops would eventually find me and bring me home. At 15 I was homeless for 6 months and selling acid for food and a place to stay. Was still better than dealing with my step mom. She drank herself to death and I found peace.


Welcome Home....

Welcome Home Wreath GIF by TheLandGroupTitleGiphy

My aunty was missing for 15 years.

She stopped answering calls, moved house and changed her number. I grew from age 3 to 18. I had 2 younger siblings she didn't know existed.

One afternoon i answer the phone at my parents house. My mum had never changed our phone number. I've already moved out but am visiting my dog. My family are away for the day. It's this aunt.

I recognizes her voice from her reading me bedtime stories, she sounds so similar to my mum.

I'm naturally freaking out about keeping her on the line, getting contact information, where she lives now etc.

Long story short it's been 9 years. She is medicated for her schizophrenia and happy to be back in the family.


Getting Help

I went to rehab. I don't know why I didn't think to tell anyone, but I was a drug addict so my brain was mush. My (now ex) boyfriend was the only person who knew. About a week in, I got called into the main office at the rehab and was told that my mother got a hold of them freaking out and telling them that I had been missing for a month (she was exaggerating), but they legally weren't allowed to tell her that I was there, so I had to call her to explain the situation.

When I got out, I had messages from tons of people asking if I was alive and found out even my old job was contacted lol. I found out that my best friend and my brother messaged my (ex) bf, and he ignored them and never told me that they contacted him. If he had, I would've told him to tell them where I was and the whole thing could've been avoided. I felt really bad about the whole situation because it stressed a lot of people out.


150 Miles Away....

I took my three children and did a flit to get away from their father who had attempted to kill me in front of them. I drove around 150 miles away.

We were given a room in a woman's refuge in a coastal town. While the processing papers went through the children asked to go to the beach. Even though it was November and cold they were happily making sandcastles when I noticed a photographer. He kept directing the camera towards us, but casually tracked away when I looked up.

I was worried that the photos could give away our location, so went to speak to him, but I couldn't catch up so left it. I found out later that I had been reported as missing and a danger to the children by their father. We did not stay in the refuge long as I never felt completely safe there after that.



About 6 years ago, I hit a really nasty bottom in my addiction (alcohol). I decided to end it and broke contact with everyone as I drank myself to death. When my family found the room I was staying in, it was covered in blood (I was throwing up blood) and the police suspected that I had killed myself and gone somewhere to die. In the meantime, in some state, I had crawled into the road covered in blood and was taken to the ICU for a week until they put the pieces together and notified my family. Fun times...

(Note: 5 years+ sober and a lot better now).


the cub

bear GIFGiphy

When I was young, probably about 6 I think, my family went on vacation to Yosemite.

We stayed in a small cabin at a campground. I met another kid who was a bit older than me, and we went exploring. Apparently we went a bit too far, and eventually ran into a bear cub. We just stood and stared at each other for a few minutes and went our separate ways. When I got back to the cabin, I found out that park rangers had been out looking for me because my parents had no idea where I was. For some reason they didn't think my bear story was as cool as I did.


I was a teen and 'runaway' from home and was 'missing' for a few weeks. Left my small town due to small town crap going on and was basically road tripping with a friend. I never lived at my mom's house again. The small town crap included small town criminal crap so when I reappeared I went to juvie for a while and when I got out I got on a plane and went to live permanently with my uncle. My mom and I had kind of a rough time for a while but we're fine now.


The Beach Buffet

My favorite story is from when my cousin was 4 and we we're on the beach with our whole family. At one moment he just disappeared, we searched for him for hours and called the police. Turns out he went to a random hotel that was 2min away from the beach to POOP, met a bunch of kids in the hotel and played with them and everyone just thought he was a guest there... He even had dinner because the buffet had just been served. We almost sent a diving team to see if he drowned.


Get out of the car...

When I was 5 my mom left my cousin (6) and I in the car to run into gas station. This was back in the 80s I should add. My mom's car had those backseats that folded down from inside the car. So I had a great idea to scare my mom so my cousin and I climbed in the back and closed the seats. It was about 10 mins later and no mom so we popped out with smiles and saw a cop car and mom my crying. I was never allowed to stay in the car alone again after that.


Underneath Us....

On The Couch Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy

My cousin went missing. Called the cops, gave a statement and suddenly he appears. Everyone was very happy but still confused. Turns out he fell asleep under the sofa.


Man with head in his hands
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