In 2004 Timothy Carney vanished while on his way to church. And although his car was later found dumped by the roadside, the vehicle contained no clues as to his whereabouts. So it was that Carney’s family searched for seven long years in vain for their loved one. Then came a breakthrough. But when the missing man was finally found alive and well, his relatives’ relief surely gave way to dismay. Why? Because Carney appeared unwilling to speak to the very people who had looked for – and loved – him.
According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS), more than 600,000 people disappear in America annually. And in 2014 NamUS reported that approximately 90,000 individuals in the U.S. are missing in the United States in any one period. Of that figure, moreover, around 60 percent are adults.
When a person is first reported missing, however, it is important that the relevant authorities act quickly. That’s according to Amy Dobbs, who formerly worked at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio. “The first 12 to 24 hours are the most critical in an active missing persons investigation,” she said to USA TODAY in 2014.