What is a missing person?

In Australia, a missing person is defined as:

Anyone who is reported missing to police, whose whereabouts are unknown, and there are fears for the safety or concern for the welfare of that person.

While there is a single definition used by police to describe a missing person, there are a variety of different circumstances which fit that description. A missing person may be a victim of misadventure, someone suffering from a health related issue (i.e. dementia), someone needing time out, or simply someone not where they are expected to be.

People talk about ‘missing’ in different ways including disappearance, abduction, homelessness, running away, couch surfing, sleeping rough, going walkabout or heading off. Missing persons can be of any age, gender, ethnicity, or background and the reasons why people go missing are many and varied.

Long term missing persons

When a missing persons case lasts longer than three months, the case is considered to be long term. Every missing persons case remains active until the missing person is located.

There are some circumstances where a person does not fit the police definition of a missing person but where loved ones are feeling the same loss due to their absence.

Missing person - Robert Jacob

Robert JACOB

Robert Hal Jacob was last seen on the 12 November 2015 in the Canberra City area, ACT. His daughter reported him missing on 3 December 2015 after not hearing from her father over...

NSW Missing person Max Day

Max DAY

Max William Day left his home at Peak Hill on the 7th of January 2017 and his motor vehicle, a green Ford Fairmont, was later located abandoned in Forbes.

On Wednesday 25th...

Missing Person Raelene Eaton

Raelene EATON

Raelene Eaton and Yvonne Waters were last seen at about 6.45pm on 7 April 1974 leaving the White Sands Hotel, Scarborough in the company of three unidentified men. Nothing has...

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