Understanding New Jersey’s Missing Persons Dilemma
There are over 1,100 long-term missing persons in New Jersey. A majority of these are from missing person cases that are still open even after years of searching, with some as young as 3 years old at the time of their disappearance. Many left behind family members who are grieving, stuck in uncertainty on their well being. In other cases, some of those left behind have passed away, never knowing their loved one’s fate.
Recently, New Jersey held an event called “Missing in New Jersey” that aimed to gather DNA from relatives to resolve the cases – and possibly help in identifying the 300 unidentified deceased in the state’s morgues and pauper cemeteries. Police has stressed that the data gathered will only be used to resolve these old cases.
It also called upon the public to report missing persons, as some families had not reported their loved ones’ disappearance. They also invited individuals who doubt their background to submit DNA samples for comparison to old child abduction cases.
Numbers of Missing Persons
There are around 14,000 to 16,000 missing person cases reported in New Jersey annually. Most of these are resolved and the whereabouts of the missing individuals are established. Unfortunately, some of them are deceased by the time that they are found. A few may end up being added to the long-term missing person cases.
In addition to the long-term missing person cases, New Jersey has around 300 unidentified deceased. They are hoping that the DNA gathered during the “Missing in New Jersey” event could help identify them and finally reunite them with their families.
The police encourage timely reporting of missing persons as these types of cases are time-sensitive. This is especially important if the missing person is a child, elderly, or in need of special assistance.
What to do When a Loved One Is Missing
Realizing that a loved is missing can be a shocking and distressing experience. Quick and sensible action can help you reunite with your loved one sooner and help ensure their safety.
- Confirm that they are missing – Try calling their contact numbers and check social media. Ask their friends, colleagues, and neighbors if they’ve seen them or have information on their whereabouts. If they live elsewhere, visit their home. Be careful not to disturb anything in their house. Call the police immediately if there are signs of violence or a break in.
- Contact the police – There is no waiting time to report a missing person. As soon as you determine that your loved one is missing, go to the police. Bring a recent photograph of the missing individual.
- Reach out on Social Media – With the prevalence of social media, it is the fastest way of spreading information. Seek help from the public. There are cases where missing people have been found because witnesses have been informed on social media of the disappearance.
- Get a Private Investigator – A New Jersey private investigator can help find your loved one. You don’t need to wait for the missing person case to be added to the long-term cases before reaching out to a private investigator. Hiring a good and reputable PI can help you be reunited with your missing family member.
- Join a Support Group – You are not alone. Unfortunately, there are many people who have undergone or are still undergoing the same pain that you’re going through. They can help you cope with what may come and hopefully a happy end to your case.