It is very stressful and difficult for a family when their loved one becomes missing. Many times the first thought is to get a poster made and start hanging in the neighborhood. This is a good thing, however, it is not a wise situation to place a missing loved one’s date of birth on a missing poster, internet banner or website. While this has been standard practice for many years, LostNMissing Inc. is trying to change that practice.
At LostNMissing, we never post publicly our missing loved one’s date of birth. We believe it is an easy target for someone to steal the identity of a missing person. At the same time, it can literally throw an investigation off in the wrong direction.
Let’s take for example when an adult becomes missing. For one, the police sometimes have the mentality that “adults have the right to go missing” and shouldJane Doe go missing from Colorado, and her identity becomes stolen and credit card purchases start happening in Ohio, it can waste valuable time on behalf of the police in having to prove if in fact that is Jane Doe. Worse, they may simply tell the family that “your daughter is alive and well and living in Ohio and because she is an adult and has the right to go missing we are going to close the case.” Can you imagine?
I do not understand the point in putting someone’s date of birth on the missing poster. Their age, yes. Absolutely. Should a loved one be missing for a couple of years, one could update the poster with Jane Doe, 22 at time of missing in 2008. Age 24 in 2010. That is all that is needed. I especially become very concerned when I see children who are missing and their posters contain their date of birth! They are the easiest targets of all due to their “clean credit history.” Let’s hope police agencies and other missing organizations take notice and consider the practice of not adding date of births.
Cynthia L. Caron