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 Attila Bogar

Attila BOGAR

On 9 October 2014 Attila Bogar attended his mother’s address in Avondale Heights Victoria. He was in a distressed and paranoid state. Attila then left the address in the...

Missing Person Sally Greenham

Sally GREENHAM

Mrs Greenham was due at a meeting at 1.00 pm on Friday 21 August 1987, but did not show up. Repeated calls to Sally’s home that afternoon went unanswered. Despite extensive...

Missing Person Barry Wood

Barry WOOD

Barry Wood was last seen on 29 September 2001 between 6 and 6.30pm. He informed his flatmate that he would attend the Paul Kelly concert held at the Casino Lawns later. He...

See all profiles