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.

Leo DALY

Leo Daly, has not been seen since the morning of 5 April 1998. He was last seen at his home address at Mitchell Park by his house mate.

Police believe that Leo was in...

Missing Person Michael Devitt

Michael DEVITT

In January 2010, Michael Devitt left family and friends in Brisbane to give a trucking mate a hand with his business up north. Michael worked in the trucking industry and...

Missing Person Tanya Buckland (Radic or Walker)

Tanya BUCKLAND

Tanya Buckland was last seen in Warwick, Queensland in August 2013. Her family and friends have heard nothing more from her and there are significant concerns for her safety...

See all profiles