There's something profoundly unnerving about missing persons cases. They have the tendency to send our imaginations hurtling into the darkest of places.
We can't seem to get the shivers out of our bones thanks to Redditor urak47, who asked: "Police officers of reddit, what's the creepiest disappearance case you've ever been assigned to?"
"The last transactions..."
I track missing persons accounts for a bank in coordination with the police.
One day a cop called and said they wanted to track the accounts of a woman who had gone missing at the hands of a dangerous trafficker.
The last transactions I could trace since she disappeared was at one of our branches. I pulled the footage and the trafficker was pulling a bunch of money from her account.
I received an alert the next day from the account stating that a purchase was made. The purchase was from a hardware store. Shortly after, the next purchase was for a carpet cleaner rental.
Needless to say, cops contacted us and says they suspect he killed her but they couldn't locate a body.
Irked me. Felt like I had witnessed a murder through simple financial transactions.
My grandfather was a policeman and a fireman at different points in his life. His 'spooky disappearance' story actually came from his time as a fireman. He hasn't told me the story in a long while so I'm a little fuzzy in the details, but here goes:
His team gets called to a house fire in a small village (rural England). It's late at night, the fire is reported by a local who was walking home. Several other bystanders have arrived by the time the fire engine gets there, and there are multiple reports of screams for help from inside the building. They start to douse the fire and three of the responders (including my grandad) enter the building via the back door to attempt to rescue the people trapped inside.
The thing is, they don't find a soul. Nobody is there. They clear the whole place out, stop the fire, effectively make the building safe. Later on, it's confirmed that the fire started in the kitchen, likely the hob, where food was midway through being prepared. As far as anyone knew, the couple who lived there had been at home. Relatives had no idea where they might have gone that night.
My grandad and his colleagues have a funny feeling, so they get local police properly involved. Crime scene investigation uncover blood on the floor in one room, but any other evidence was destroyed in the fire. They can't confirm who the blood belongs to - it apparently didn't match the blood types of the two vanished residents.
The fire department are very suspicious at this point and apparently the police want to drop the investigation in favour of a manhunt for the missing people, but they end up expanding the investigation radius and find that apparently an unidentified van was parked outside the house that left just before the fire was reported. The investigation goes dead, but over a year later they find the burned remains of the man who lived there in a grave in the woods several towns away. They never found the woman so it was suspected that she killed him and burned down the house to conceal it. They never figured out were the screams from inside the building were coming from, though.
"We get a call..."
We get a call from a husband that his wife and mother in law have been missing for three days. Their two small children are with dad and he claimed he didn't know what happened.
The husband had massive history of domestic violence with his first wife, and we were pretty concerned for the well-being of his wife and mother in law, especially since they vanished without packing and didn't take the kids.
I show up at the house, and the husband gives me the creeps. Just a really weird vibe and every single hair on my body is standing up. I feel nothing but dread as I listen to him tell me that he has no idea where they went and couldn't explain why he waited three days to call police, especially with two small kids at home.
We couldn't find any trace of evidence and I was really perplexed.
Found out later that the wife and her mom went across the US border to go shopping and they both got arrested for shoplifting and were spending a week in jail while waiting for trial, since they were Canadians and a flight risk.
It was hilariously awkward breaking the truth to him. But a huge relief.
"Dealt several times..."
Dealt several times with a young mother who would always go missing for a few days and leave her child with relatives. Several missing persons reports over time. Turns out she was shacking up with her dealer boyfriend in a nearby city.
One day the lady walks in and says her daughter was kidnapped. I do some work and find the aunt took the child because mom is just a terrible person.
State did not want to get involved so we have to give the kid back. I turn to my partner and tell him mom will definitely be dead within a few months. Probably turn up in a ditch or dumped in the river where she goes to visit her dealer boyfriend.
Fast forward three months and I turn on the news to see a story of a woman found dumped in the river. It was mom. She was stabbed to death by her boyfriend and dumped in the river. That one creeped me out a bit.
Not me personally but other officers on my department; 70 year old female with dementia would often leave her home and go for walks around her property. One day, she never came home and it should be noted that we live on an island 30 miles out from the rest of the United States. State police, K9s, our entire department, news helicopters, coast guard helicopters and boats, marine division, all searched land and ocean for this women.
We reviewed security footage at the airport and steamship ferry to see if she boarded either to leave island, but she didn't . She was never found and to this day, we don't know what happened. Two theories have arrived though; she walked right into the ocean and somehow her body disappeared and new washed up or two, she walked into to the construction site of a sewer plant and fell into a tank full of waste just before the tank was permanently covered.
Responded to missing person report. Husband was the caller reporting his wife was missing. Wife had debilitating condition and was bedridden for several months. Husband said he went to dinner across town and discovered wife was gone upon returning home. No sign of her in the house or in the area. No kids were living at home. Search and rescue came out and spent all night searching the area with no luck. Scent dogs didn't even find anything. The whole time I'm imagining we're going to be discussing this case sometime in the future on forensic files.
It was an eerie feeling to be sitting with a man and talking to him while thinking he may have just killed his wife but having to treat him like he was a concerned husband.
Fast forward to the next day and a neighbor found her about a block and a half away tucked down behind their bushes in their yard. No foul play, turns out something just happened and wandered away, but lost energy and collapsed in that yard. Sadly, she reported seeing the glow sticks on the scent dog collars walking nearby on the road, but nobody or none of the dogs came close enough in the yard to find her until that neighbor came out that next morning.
"I'm a corrections sergeant..."
I'm a Corrections Sergeant for a small county in rural Alabama. About two years ago; I had just become a supervisor. I was assigned to Delta Shift, which at that point was considered the "bad shift". I was brand new and given the task of whipping this bunch shape. I was barely one month in the driver's seat, when one of my most trusted inmates just goes insane. It was in mid- February when this occurred, relatively cold and very crappy. The inmate involved had been in and out of the facility for most of his life. "Papa" had nearly more clout in the jail than I did. The man was the most trusted inmate we've ever had and was even assigned to work alongside the maintenance officer with limited supervision.
Until the night that he ate nearly two ounces of drugs and proceeded to freak the hell out. Papa asked to be let out to fix a toilet in booking. The Control officer let him out and then let him roam up to the booking foyer. Here, we entirely lost track of him. The Detention Center spent the next nine hours on lockdown thanks to this. When my officers finally found him, he had gotten into the ceiling access with a stolen key. Papa had watched us from the master monitor in the server room the entire time. Every time someone would look in the server room, he would hide INSIDE the cabinets. If we got too far from finding him, he would scream at the top of his lungs until we turned around. All from the ceiling across the entire jail.
Creepiest experience of my life.
"She was walking home..."
My stepdad worked a case.
My dad and my little brother lived in an apartment down the street from this 12 year old girl who went missing
She was walking home at night and was abducted on her way. It was about 3 weeks until they found her but the guy let the officers in and right there in middle of the living room floor was her mangled remains.
"Then she goes missing."
Not a cop, but I watched this case unfold near me. Zahra Baker and her dad were originally from Australia, but after she got sick (I believe it was a form of cancer) they moved to get better care. It was just the two of them for a while. Then her dad remarried all the while Zahra's kicking cancers butt. She suffers hearing loss and other issues, but she's going strong. The community adores this girl and tries to help her family as best as they can.
Then she goes missing. It's shocking and horrible, this girl can barely do anything herself and she's gone missing? It takes the media by storm - relatively small town so everyone cares. This area is surrounded by woods so search parties branch out everywhere. Not much is told about Zahra's family at first - no one cares about speculation when a girl like her is missing. And then all at once these horrible details are released by the police: Zahra was locked in a room (the attic I think, I remember commentary about how hot that can get and everyone being disgusted by it), the abuse at the hands of her stepmother.
The stepmother is arrested quickly and the investigation wraps up fast. They find Zahra about a month or two later, and the entire community mourned her for years. She's still brought up in the news occasionally. She was about the same age as me when it happened and I remember my mom not letting me play in the woods because we didn't know what was happening.
DQ: What's the creepiest missing persons case that you know of?