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.

Nancy Gumprecht

On Sunday the 6th of October 1985 Nancy Alice Gumprecht left her residence in Legana, early in the morning, stating to her husband that she was going bushwalking in the Mount...

Missing person from new south wales Neil Hyatt

Neil HYETT

Neil Hyett, aged 34, was last seen walking along the Charlotte Pass Road in Perisher on the 22nd of July, 1993.  Neil has not made contact or been seen by family or friends since...

Missing Person John Connor

John CONNOR

Originally from Port Pirie, South Australia, John Connor was reported missing from Adelaide as of 2.20pm 10 April 1985. It is believed he travelled to Adelaide to attend a...

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