Have you seen them? The most tragic missing persons cases
According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), there are approximately 90,000 missing persons in the United States at any given time. With the advancement of modern detective work and advanced scientific methods such as genealogy testing, the vast majority of missing persons cases end up being solved today.
Even so, sometimes investigators just aren’t able to provide enough conclusive evidence to put the pieces together on some of these cases, and they go unsolved. There have been some devastating, very suspicious missing persons cases in recent times that definitely fall into this category.
Throughout history though, all around the world, certain missing persons cases have left investigators and families struggling to find answers. When there is little evidence to no evidence, and no eye witnesses, missing persons cases tragically end up being closed and unsolved. Come with us as we walk through some of the most puzzling & tragic missing persons cases throughout history all around the globe.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia on March 8, 2014. The plane disappeared in the air on route to Beijing Capital International Airport. The plane was flying over the South China Sea when air traffic control lost communication with the aircraft.
Military radar was able to locate the plane on its channels and continued to track the flight path for another hour. The aircraft definitely deviated off their original flight plan and headed west, crossing over both the Malay Peninsula and the Andaman Sea. The plane fell from military radar approximately 200 nautical miles northwest of Penang Island, which is in the northwest peninsula of Malaysia.
What happened to the plane and the 239 people on board remains a mystery. Some debris was located, yet the actual plane itself never was. The search for the wreckage in the ocean was extensive and included a search of 46,00 feet of ocean floor. Obviously the search yielded little results.
Dorothy Arnold was a New York socialite and the daughter of a very wealthy high-society perfume importer. On December 12, 1910, Arnold left the family home and headed to Fifth Avenue in New York City to buy a dress for her sister’s upcoming debutante. She never returned home and was never seen again after that day.
She left the home with what would be the equivalent today of approximately $800 on her person. It can be verified that she did make it to Fifth Avenue, where she did a little shopping. She bought chocolates and visited a bookstore where she purchased some books. Outside the bookstore she ran into a friend.
The two chatted for a few minutes before Arnold’s friend excused herself to go and eat lunch with her mother. The same friend did see Arnold one more time at approximately 2pm on 27th street. The friend reported that Arnold told her she was going to take a walk through Central Park, but it cannot be verified whether Arnold actually made it to the park. She was never seen again.
The Beaumont children
Three children, now collectively known as the Beaumont children, were three Australian siblings who disappeared in South Australia in 1966. The kids, aged four, seven and nine, all disappeared on January 26 in what is now considered and abduction and subsequent murder. Their bodies have never been recovered though, so it cannot be verified that this is what actually happened to the children.
Several witnesses confirm seeing the children at Glenelg Beach in the company of a tall man described as having blond hair and a thin face. It is confirmed that this man is not the father, or any other relative of the family. Rumor has it that sightings of the man in toe with the kids also occurred at a cake shop. The identity of this man still remains a mystery today.
The case attracted widespread attention in the Australian media. Even today, more than half a century later, the case still appears regularly in headlines on various Australian media platforms. It remains one of Australia’s highest profile unsolved cases in history. Today, a one million dollar reward stands for anyone offering concrete information related to the case.
On December 6, 2009, a neighbor of the Powell family visited Susan in her home. The neighbor left the Powell family home at 5 pm. This was the last time Susan Powell was seen by anyone outside of the Powell family. Interestingly enough, the entire Powell family was reported missing at first. The mother and sister of Joshua Powell, Susan’s husband, called the alerted the police that the children had not been dropped off at daycare that day and the family could not be located anywhere.
The police busted into the Powell family home, fearing that they may have become victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. The home was empty but the police noted they did see two box fans blowing air at a very wet spot on the couch. The police located all of Susan’s personal effects, including her wallet, her ID. Her cellphone was later found in one of the family vehicles Joshua Powell had been driving.
Joshua Powell returned to the family home with his children later that day. Susan was not with them. When police questioned Joshua on his whereabouts, Powell said he took the kids camping. Police visited the site Joshua claimed to be and saw no evidence of the campsite Joshua detailed. Susan never returned to the family home and was never seen again. No arrests were ever made in conjunction with her disappearance.
However, on February 5, 2012, a social worker who was monitoring Joshua Powell’s interactions with his children, called 911 after taking the two Powell children on a supervised visit to see Joshua Powell. The social worker reported that upon her arrival, Joshua Powell grabbed the two boys and slammed the door in her face. She was unable to enter the home.
While the social worker was waiting for authorities to arrive, the house exploded. Joshua Powell and his two sons died in the home. Officials confirm the explosion was both planned and deliberate. The official cause of death was ruled as carbon monoxide poisoning, however the coroner did note that both children also had significant chopping injuries on both their heads and their necks.
18-year-old Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba during a high school graduation celebratory trip with some of her classmates and seven of her teachers. The teachers were required to check in intermittently throughout the day with the teenagers, but were not required to stay with them at all times.
The police reported that during their investigation they learned that the teenagers used the trip to engage in excessive partying. Holloway participated vehemently and it was reported that she would drink all day long. Holloway was last seen on May 30, 2005 at approximately 1.30am. She was last seen getting into the car with 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot – a dutch student living in Aruba. She was never seen again.
Several arrests were made in conjunction with Holloway’s disappearance, including that of van der Sloot. There was not enough evidence to proceed with a conviction though and the suspects never faced trial. A judge ordered their release from custody on September 3, 2005.
In November of 1977, 13-year-il Megumi Yokota went missing while walking home from school one day in the western Japanese town of Niigata. At the time of her disappearance, no one knew what happened to her. However, some years later it was revealed that the young girl had actually been kidnapped by North Korean agents.
In 2002, North Korea confirmed that it had operated an abduction program in Japan during the time of Megumi Yokota’s disappearance. Japan suspects that 17 of its citizens fell prey to this program. Five of these people were released in 2002, while the other eight reportedly died while in North Korea’s custody. It was reported that Megumi Yokota died by suicide in 1994 in North Korea. Her remains were cremated and given to her family.
However, according to Japanese officials, the remains provided to the Yokota family were DNA tested. The test results came back negative. The remains were not that of Megumi Yokota. Some of the Yokota family members are convinced that Megumi is still alive in captivity in North Korea.