Special Report

40 Famous and Mysterious Disappearances

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s  National Missing and Unidentified Persons database, more than 600,000 people go missing annually and about 1% – 6,000 – of them are never found. Others turn up later alive, sometimes have changed their names, far from where they were first seen – or turn up in the form of skeletal remains. (These are the 25 most mysterious disappearances in America.)

To compile a list of 40 famous disappearances, mostly in America but sometimes in other parts of the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed reports on websites including those of the FBI, History, Historic Mysteries, and Reader’s Digest. Our list is obviously far from comprehensive, but we exercised editorial discretion to choose cases that were reported on extensively by the media. People who had been reported missing but were later found dead were excluded. 

While some people intentionally disappear because of family or financial difficulties, run-ins with the law, mental stress, or other personal reasons; others have been kidnapped or murdered. Some who have gone missing disappeared in the mountains, forests, on airplane flights, or aboard seagoing vessels and are presumed dead though their bodies have never been recovered. 

Some of the people on this list were well-known before they disappeared: aviator Amelia Earhart; explorer Henry Hudson; Michael Rockefeller, scion of the wealthy Rockefeller family; photojournalist Sean Flynn, son of actor Errol Flynn; Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa…. (For more on these and other celebrity disappearances, here’s a list of famous people who mysteriously disappeared, and are still missing.)

Click here to read about 40 famous and mysterious disappearances

Tragically, some of those missing on our list became famous only because they disappeared, including Alabama high school student Natalee Holloway, 6-year-old New Yorker Etan Patz, and an English child, 3-year-old Madeleine McCann.

Boats and planes containing crew and passengers have been involved among the more famous vanishing incidents. The disappearance of five Navy planes over the Atlantic in 1945 added to the mystique of the so-called “Bermuda Triangle,” while the 2014 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people on board continues to confound us.

The Roanoke Colony
> Year of disappearance: Unknown (1585-1590)
> Last known whereabouts: Dare County, North Carolina

The Roanoke Colony settlers arrived in 1585 in an attempt to establish the first English settlement on the continent and had mysteriously disappeared by 1590 when an English ship called at the site. The only clues left behind were the words “Croatoan” carved into a fort’s gatepost and “Cro” etched into a tree – presumably a reference to the Croatan, a local Native American group, or to Croatoan Island (now Hatteras Island), near the colony, to which the settlers may have relocated. Theories about the cause of the disappearance range from disease to violence by indigenous peoples. Modern research suggests that during a crisis, the colonists may have split into smaller groups and dispersed.


Henry Hudson
> Year of disappearance: 1611
> Last known whereabouts: Hudson Bay, Canada

Hudson, the celebrated English navigator and explorer, disappeared during a voyage into Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada which began in 1610. There were quarrels among the crew and a mutiny ensued. According to a journal left by the ship’s navigator, Hudson, along with his son and seven others, were set adrift in a small boat in June 1611. They were never heard from again and nothing definitive is known about what happened to them.

Theodosia Burr Alston
> Year of disappearance: 1813
> Last known whereabouts: South Carolina coast

Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Aaron Burr – a man famous as the third vice-president of the United States and infamous for having slain Alexander Hamilton in a duel – disappeared in early 1813 while on a voyage on the schooner Patriot from South Carolina to New York. Despite being in ill health and grieving the death of her young son, she yearned to see her father, who had recently returned from a self-imposed European exile. There are various theories about her fate – she may have been captured or murdered by pirates, or, more likely, the ship may have been destroyed in a fierce storm off Cape Hatteras on Jan. 2 or 3 – but her disappearance remains one of early America’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

Solomon Northrup
> Year of disappearance: 1857
> Last known whereabouts: Washington, D.C.

Northup was a free-born African-American New Yorker who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, after being lured to the nation’s capital – where slavery was legal. His incredible journey and harrowing experiences were documented in his memoir, “12 Years a Slave” – adapted into the Oscar-winning Best Picture of the same name. After 1857, Northrup vanished, and the details of his life remain a mystery, though some research indicates that he died in 1963 or ’64. Among the theories are that he might have been re-enslaved, been killed as a Union Army spy during the Civil War, or died of natural causes.


Crew of the Mary Celeste
> Year of disappearance: 1872
> Last known whereabouts: North Atlantic

The Mary Celeste left New York City on Nov. 5, 1872, bound for Genoa, Italy. On Dec. 5, the British brig Dei Gratia found her adrift near the Azores with no one on board. The cargo ship’s charts were scattered, one of its pumps was disassembled, its only lifeboat was missing, and there was water in the ship’s bottom. The cargo and a six-month supply of food and water were largely untouched. Despite various theories, the mystery of the disappearance of the Mary Celeste’s 10 crew members remains unsolved.

Dorothy Arnold
> Year of disappearance: 1910
> Last known whereabouts: New York City

Arnold, a 25-year-old American socialite and heiress, vanished without a trace on Dec. 12, 1910. She was last seen leaving her home with $30 with her (about $800 in today’s money) to go shopping. Despite extensive searches and investigations, her disappearance remains unsolved to this day. Speculations and theories abound, ranging from kidnapping to voluntary disappearance. Hers is the oldest missing persons case in New York City.


Ambrose Bierce
> Year of disappearance: 1913
> Last known whereabouts: Mexico

Journalist and author Ambrose Bierce, best known for “The Devil’s Dictionary,”a famous American writer, embarked on a tour of Civil War battlefields in 1913, then went south and crossed into Mexico, joining Pancho Villa’s revolutionary army as an observer. After witnessing the Battle of Tierra Blanca in November and reaching the city of Chihuahua, he vanished. The last anyone heard from him was a letter he wrote to a friend dated Dec. 26. Theories about his disappearance include suicide, execution by Villa’s firing squad, being killed by Mexican federal forces, or dying of pneumonia after returning to the U.S.

Percy Harrison Fawcett
> Year of disappearance: 1925
> Last known whereabouts: Dead Horse Camp, Mato Grosso, Brazil

A British explorer and cartographer, Fawcett, along with his son Jack and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell, set off from Cuiabá, capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, on April 20, 1925, in search of the mythical Amazonian city of “Z.” Despite warnings of danger, the trio ventured into unexplored regions, and after reaching the ominously named Dead Horse Camp, they sent their guides back with the last of their dispatches and went alone into the bush. They were never heard from again. They may have been killed by local tribes or succumbed to starvation.

Judge Joseph Force Crater
> Year of disappearance: 1937
> Last known whereabouts: New York City

Judge Crater, known for his ties to the corrupt New York City political machine Tammany Hall, disappeared mysteriously in 1930 after getting into a cab in midtown Manhattan. He became known as “the missingest man” in New York City, and his disappearance sparked one of the most sensational manhunts of the 20th century. A letter left by a Queens woman upon her death in 2005 claimed that her late husband, an NYPD cop, had told her that another officer and the policeman’s cab-driving brother were responsible for Crater’s death and that he was buried in Coney Island, where the New York Aquarium now stands. No skeletal remains were found on the site when it was excavated in the 1950s, and the claim has been largely discounted.


Amelia Earhart
> Year of disappearance: 1937
> Last known whereabouts: South Pacific

Famed pilot Amelia Earhart – the first female to make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic – disappeared during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937. On June 1, Earhart and Fred Noonan, her navigator, set out from Oakland, California. After reaching New Guinea, they departed for Howland Island, about halfway between Australia and Hawaii, to refuel. However, due to overcast skies, radio transmission issues, and low fuel, they did not reach their destination. The ensuing search was the most extensive in American history at that time. Neither Earhart nor Noonan were found. Earhart was officially declared dead on Jan. 5, 1939. Many theories have been advanced regarding the mystery (was she captured by the Japanese? did she crash and sink into the sea? did she survive and adopt a new identity?).

Barbara Newhall Follett
> Year of disappearance: 1939
> Last known whereabouts: Brookline, Massachusetts

Follett, a child-prodigy novelist (her first book was published when she was 12), disappeared on Dec. 7 1939 at the age of 25, walking out of her Brookline apartment never to be seen again. Despite her early publishing success, Follett faced personal setbacks and became depressed, and on the day of her disappearance, she reportedly had a fight with her husband. She left with just $30 (about $660 in today’s dollars) and a notebook. Her husband, Nickerson Rogers, waited for two weeks before notifying the police. Though her body was never found, one researched advanced the theory in 2019 that it had indeed been discovered but was misidentified as another woman.


Crew of the L-8 blimp
> Year of disappearance: 1942
> Last known whereabouts: Daly City, California

On Aug. 16, 1942, the L-8, a U.S. Navy blimp, crashed on a suburban street in Daly City after having briefly touched ground, then floated aimlessly over San Francisco. Fire crews rushed to save its two-man crew, Lieutenant Ernest DeWitt Cody and Ensign Charles Ellis Adams, but there was no trace of them. The blimp was missing a depth charge, which was found on a nearby golf course, and the crew’s lifejackets, which never turned up. Despite extensive search efforts, all traces of the men had vanished.

The Sodder children
> Year of disappearance: 1945
> Last known whereabouts: Fayetteville, West Virginia

On the night before Christmas 1945, a fire broke out in the Fayetteville, West Virginia, home of George and Jennie Sodder. George, Jennie and four of their children escaped, but their five other children – Maurice, Martha, Louis, Jennie, and Betty – were never seen again. Although the official report attributed the fire to faulty wiring, the Sodders suspected foul play due to a series of odd events leading up to the fire, the lack of remains in the ashes, and reported sightings of the children after the fire. Despite investigations and a sizable reward for information, the case remains unsolved.

Flight 19
> Year of disappearance: 1945
> Last known whereabouts: Coast of Florida

On Dec. 5, 1945, five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, known collectively as Flight 19, took off from Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale for a routine combat and navigation training exercise. Led by Lieutenant Charles Carroll Taylor, an experienced pilot, the flight included 13 other airmen. After completing the first part of the exercise, Flight 19’s pilots reported being lost. Despite attempts to guide them back, the planes went missing. No trace of the airmen or their bombers was ever found. Everything from the Bermuda Triangle to alien abductions was blamed – and in fact Steven Spielberg’s 1977 sci-fi movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” imagines that the latter theory was true, with the planes being discovered in perfect condition in the desert and the airmen, no older than the were when the disappeared, being returned by the aliens.


Middie Rivers, Paula Jean Welden, James Tedford, Paul Jepson
> Years of disappearance: 1945-1950
> Last known whereabouts: Green Mountain National Forest/Glastenbury Mountain area, Vermont

In the 1990s, Vermont-born author and folklorist Joseph A. Citro coined the term “the Bennington Triangle” to describe a section of southwestern Vermont known for several unsolved disappearances that occurred there over a five-year period in the mid-20th century. The missing – Middie Rivers, Paula Jean Welden, James Tedford, and Paul Jepson – all vanished under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind negligible evidence. (There were two other mysterious disappearances from the area – Carl Herrick in 1943 and Freida Langer in 1950 – but in both cases, their bodies were later discovered.) Theories about the cause of the disappearances include UFOs, ancient curses, and unpredictable weather patterns. A onetime website devoted to the phenomenon, BenningtonTriangle.com, has itself disappeared.

Michael Rockefeller
> Year of disappearance: 1961
> Last known whereabouts: Netherlands New Guinea (now South Papua, Indonesia)

In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, vanished while on an expedition to study the indigenous Asmat people and their art. On Nov. 17, the boat he was traveling on with two local guides and a Dutch anthropologist capsized off the coast. Rockefeller and the Dutchman clung to the boat while the guides swam to find assistance. When no help had come for two days. Rockefeller swam for shore and was never seen again. The anthropologist was rescued the following day. Despite extensive searches, Rockefeller’s fate remains unknown, though he may have drowned trying to reach land or been attacked by tribespeople. Some believe he was ritually cannibalized, though there’s no concrete evidence of that. He was declared legally dead in 1964.


Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin
> Year of disappearance: 1962
> Last known whereabouts: Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, San Francisco Bay, California

Late on June 11, 1962, or early the next morning, three Alcatraz inmates – burglar Morris and the bank-robber Anglin brothers – disappeared from their cells. They had created dummy heads from plaster, paint, and real hair to trick the guards and used crude tools to loosen the air vents at the back of their cells, gaining access to a common, unguarded utility corridor. From there, they climbed to the roof of their cell block and escaped through a ventilator, boarding an inflatable raft. Their fate remains a mystery, with no credible evidence suggesting they survived, though there have been countless supposed sightings and reports of collaborators in their escape. The episode was dramatized in a 1979 movie, “Escape from Alcatraz,” starring Clint Eastwood as Morris.

Three Michigan women disappear
> Year of disappearance: 1966
> Last known whereabouts: Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

On July 2, 1966, three young Illinois women — Patricia Blough, Renee Bruhl, and Ann Miller — disappeared from Indiana Dunes State Park, on the shores of Lake Michigan. They were last seen sunbathing, swimming, and talking, before boarding a boat occupied by a young male. Items belonging to the women were found on the beach, but despite extensive searches, they were never found. Various theories have been investigated, including a boating accident, abduction, the aftermath of a botched abortion on board the boat, or a connection to a racehorse Patricia had bought, but no solid leads or suspects have been identified.

Sean Flynn
> Year of disappearance: 1970
> Last known whereabouts: Cambodia

Sean Flynn, son of swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn, vanished in Cambodia on April 6, 1970, at the age of 28 while working as a freelance photojournalist covering the Vietnam War. He and a fellow photographer were reportedly abducted by Viet Cong guerrillas, marking the last time either man was seen alive, and later handed over to the Khmer Rouge. Flynn’s mother, actress Lili Damita, had him declared legally dead in 1984. Despite various reports and searches, neither man’s remains have ever been found.


D.B. Cooper
> Year of disappearance: 1971
> Last known whereabouts: Northwest Oriental Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle

On Nov. 24, 1971, an unidentified man using the alias “D.B. Cooper” hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft during a domestic flight in the Pacific Northwest. Cooper, who claimed to have a bomb, demanded $200,000 in cash and four parachutes. The plane landed in Seattle and Cooper released all passengers after receiving the ransom. The plane took off again with Cooper and a few crew members. Somewhere over the rugged terrain of the Pacific Northwest, Cooper parachuted out of the aircraft, disappearing without a trace. Despite extensive investigations and searches, no conclusive evidence of his whereabouts or fate has ever been found.

Hale Boggs
> Year of disappearance: 1972
> Last known whereabouts: Alaska

On Oct. 16, 1972, Democratic House Majority Leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana disappeared during a campaign trip in Alaska along with Alaska Rep. Nicholas Begich and a Begich aide. They were flying from Anchorage to Juneau when their twin-engine Cessna vanished in poor weather conditions. The disappearance prompted the largest search-and-rescue operation in American history at that time, involving 90 aircraft, a search area of 325,000 square miles, and over 3,600 hours of search time. After 39 days, the search was called off without any sign of wreckage or survivors.


Jim Robinson
> Year of disappearance: 1973
> Last known whereabouts: Miami, Florida

Jim “Sweet Jimmy” Robinson, a onetime boxing opponent of Muhammad Ali – when he was still called Cassius Clay – vanished in 1979 and has never been found. Robinson fought Clay in 1961 as a last-minute replacement, and was knocked out in the first round. His last known appearance was in an interview in 1979. Despite attempts to locate him, including by ESPN in 2009, his whereabouts remain unknown. Robinson’s disappearance also frustrated Ali collector Stephen Singer, who has autographs from 49 of Ali’s 50 opponents, with Robinson’s being the only one missing.

Jimmy Hoffa
> Year of disappearance: 1975
> Last known whereabouts: Bloomfield, Michigan

Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa vanished without a trace on July 30, 1975. He was one of the most influential men in the country at the time, with many working Americans considering him their hero because of his union leadership. However, Hoffa also had powerful enemies and many connections with organized crime. He had served prison time for conspiracy and fraud, but was pardoned by President Nixon. He was last seen leaving a restaurant in Bloomfield Township in a red vehicle. There are ongoing investigations into his disappearance, and may well have been killed by the Mafia. He has been portrayed on screen by Robert Blake, Jack Nicholson, and Al Pacino, among others.

Benjamin Kalama, Peter Hanchett, Patrick Woessner, and Ralph Malaiakini
> Year of disappearance: 1979
> Last known whereabouts: Hana Bay, Maui, Hawaii

On Feb. 11, 1979, five young men from Hana, Maui Kalama, Hanchett, Woessner, Malaiakini, and Scott Moorman – set out to go fishing on Malaiakini’s 17-foot motorboat, the Sarah Joe, and motored off into what would become one of the greatest maritime mysteries in modern history. Despite the initially sunny weather, gale force winds came up in the afternoon, with waves up to 40 feet high, and the men failed to return home. For five days, a search covering 70,000 square miles of ocean was conducted by the Coast Guard, but no trace of the boat or its occupants was found. In 1988, the damaged boat and the remains of Moorman – buried in a grave covered with stones, with a driftwood cross – were discovered on an atoll in the Marshall Islands, about 2,200 miles southwest of Hawaii. No trace of the other men was ever found.


SS Poet
> Year of disappearance: 1980
> Last known whereabouts: North Atlantic

The SS Poet, which had transported troops during World War II under the name USS General Omar Bundy, was a merchant vessel that mysteriously disappeared on Oct. 25, 1980. It was carrying grain en route from Philadelphia to Port Said, Egypt, but never reached its destination, and put out no distress signals. Despite extensive searches by the Coast Guard and others, no trace of the ship or its crew of 34 was ever found. Various theories have been proposed, ranging from piracy to storms or mechanical failure due to its advanced age.

Emanuela Orlandi
> Year of disappearance: 1983
> Last known whereabouts: Rome or Vatican City

Orlandi, the teenage daughter of a Vatican City employee, disappeared on June 22, 1983, while returning home from a music lesson in Rome. The Vatican came under scrutiny for its handling of the case. The Vatican collected all available evidence and handed it over to the Rome city prosecutor, marking the first time it has publicly handed over documents to Italian authorities. Searches for Orlandi’s remains have been conducted many times over the last four decades, but this year, an official investigation was reopened at the request of Pope Francis.


Mary Badaracco
> Year of disappearance: 1984
> Last known whereabouts: Sherman, Connecticut

Badaracco, who had been having marital problems, disappeared from her home in Sherman, Conn., on Aug. 20, 1984. When relatives went to her home the following day, they found her car keys and wedding ring in the kitchen and her 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier in the driveway. Her family is convinced that she was murdered, perhaps by her husband, who claimed she had taken $100,000 he had hidden in the house. Despite investigations, her case remains unsolved, making it one of Connecticut’s most notorious cold cases.

Tara Calico
> Year of disappearance: 1988
> Last known whereabouts: Belen, New Mexico

Tara Calico, a 19-year-old university student and bank employee, disappeared on Sept. 20, 1988, during her daily bicycle ride near her home. Witnesses reported seeing an older model pickup truck closely following her along the highway, but if she was kidnapped, no witnesses to the abduction surfaced and neither she nor her bicycle were ever found. This June, authorities have announced they have enough evidence to turn the case over to the district attorney’s office for possible prosecution. The suspects have not been named, and court records remain sealed, so Calico’s disappearance remains a mystery for now.

Keith Reinhard
> Year of disappearance: 1988
> Last known whereabouts: Silver Plume, Colorado

Keith Reinhard was a writer who moved to the Rocky Mountain village of Silver Plume from Chicago and opened an antique shop in the same location where a man named Tom Young had run a bookstore. Young and his dog vanished mysteriously in 1987, but their remains were later found; both had been shot. Reinhard became fascinated with Young’s disappearance and began writing a novel about it. On Aug. 7, 1988, he closed his shop and set off on a hike up a nearby mountain, telling friends to send a rescue team if he did not return. Reinhard never came back. Despite extensive searches, no trace of him was found. Some believe Reinhard planned his own disappearance, while others speculate that he, too, was murdered.


Sherill Levitt, Suzanne Streeter, Stacy McCall
> Year of disappearance: 1992
> Last known whereabouts: Springfield, Missouri

On June 7, 1992, Levitt, Streeter (Levitt’s daughter), and Streeter’s friend McCall – who became known as the “Springfield Three” – disappeared from Levitt’s Springfield home, leaving all their belongings behind. Streeter and McCall had attended graduation parties the night before and were last seen around 2:15 a.m., before they headed to Levitt’s. The police found no signs of struggle at the house, except for a shattered porch light. Despite investigations and public appeals for information, the women’s disappearances remain unsolved. A reward of $43,000 is still being offered for information leading to the resolution of the case.

Jodi Huisentruit
> Year of disappearance: 1995
> Last known whereabouts: Mason City, Iowa

Huisentruit, a Mason City television news anchor, disappeared on June 27, 1995. She was supposed to anchor the morning news, but never arrived at work. Police found signs of a struggle outside her car, a red Mazda Miata, including a bent car key. No suspect has ever been named in the case. A private investigator named Steve Ridge, who has been leading the investigation, believes there are still people who can help solve this cold case – but Huisentruit was legally declared dead in 2001, and no suspects or remains have ever been identified.


Maura Murray
> Year of disappearance: 2004
> Last known whereabouts: Woodsville, New Hampshire

On the night of Feb. 9, 2004, Murray, a 21-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student, was driving north from the school, perhaps to Vermont, for unknown reasons when she crashed her car into a snowbank on Route 112 in Woodsville some time after 7 p.m. A driver passing by saw the wreck, with Murray outside, and offered to call the police, but she asked him not to and claimed she’s already called AAA (which she hadn’t). The police arrived shortly thereafter and found the vehicle locked and abandoned, with no sign of Murray. Theories suggest she went missing on the road, not the woods nearby. Investigations as recent as 2022 turned up no evidence of what happened, but Murray’s family is still looking for leads, most recently through a billboard campaign this year.

Ray Gricar
> Year of disappearance: 2005
> Last known whereabouts: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Gricar was a few months away from retiring as Centre County’s district attorney when he disappeared. Gricar told his girlfriend he was driving toward Lewisburg on April 15, 2005, and his car was found there, but he never reappeared. His county-issued laptop, with the hard drive ejected but nearby, was found in the Susquehanna River. Despite several leads and much speculation, the case remains unsolved. Gricar has not used his email, cellphone, banks, or credit cards since his disappearance and was declared legally dead in 2011.

Natalee Holloway
> Year of disappearance: 2005
> Last known whereabouts: Oranjestad, Aruba

Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared on her high school graduation trip to Aruba. She was last seen leaving a club with a group of local young men, including local resident Joran van der Sloot – who was later convicted of murdering a woman in Peru. Van der Sloot’s stories about the night changed over time and he and his companions were arrested multiple times but released without charges. In 2010, van der Sloot allegedly demanded money from Holloway’s mother for information about her daughter’s remains, but as of now the case remains unsolved. This year, however, van der Sloot was extradited from Peru to the U.S. to face charges of extortion and wire fraud related to Holloway’s disappearance.


Jennifer Kesse
> Year of disappearance: 2006
> Last known whereabouts: Orlando, Florida

Kesse disappeared from Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 24, 2006. The 24-year-old was last seen walking to her car to head to her workplace, Central Florida Investments – which later offered a $1 million reward for information. The investigation initially led by the Orlando Police Department was criticized by the Kesse family, and the family later took over the investigation, spending over $80,000 on case files. New leads have been reported recently, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also working on the case.

Barbara Bolick
> Year of disappearance: 2007
> Last known whereabouts: Bitterroot Mountains, Montana

Bolick, 55, was last seen hiking with a friend, Jim Ramaker, on July 18, 2007. Ramaker turned to admire a view – for no more than 45 seconds, he said – while Bolick was 20 or 30 feet away, and when he turned back, she had vanished. Despite extensive searches, neither Bolick nor her belongings were ever found. Ramaker cooperated with investigators and was not accused. Bolick was an experienced hiker familiar with the local terrain and was carrying a .357 magnum pistol. There were no signs of an animal attack, and her financial assets were unaffected by her disappearance. Two potential witnesses were never located.


Madeleine McCann
> Year of disappearance: 2007
> Last known whereabouts: Praia da Luz, Lagos, Portugal

A 3-year-old English girl, Madeleine McCann, disappeared from an apartment while she was on vacation with her family, in what was to become “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history,” according to the Daily Telegraph. McCann and her twin brother and sister were left alone in the apartment while their parents and their friends dined in a nearby restaurant, checking in on the children frequently. At 10 p.m., when her mother Kate checked, Madeleine was gone. Police were called, and extensive searches ensued. The authorities initially believed that the girl had died accidentally and her parents had covered up the tragedy, but there was insufficient evidence to pursue the theory. Despite many subsequent leads, investigations, and suspects, the disappearance remains unresolved.

Lauren Spierer
> Year of disappearance: 2011
> Last known whereabouts: Bloomington, Indiana

Lauren Spierer, a 20-year-old Indiana University student, disappeared on June 3, 2011. She was last seen on surveillance footage at 4:30 a.m. walking back to her apartment, very drunk, after a night of partying at Kilroy’s Sports Bar and a stop at a friend’s apartment. Despite thousands of tips, no suspect has ever been named in her disappearance. Theories regarding her disappearance range from abduction to a drug overdose and subsequent coverup.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
> Year of disappearance: 2014
> Last known whereabouts: Southern Indian Ocean

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people, mostly Chinese citizens, on board, disappeared on March 8, 2014, over the southern Indian Ocean during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The initial Australian-led search for the plane or survivors covered 118,000 square miles, and further efforts ended in 2017. A search by a private firm, Ocean Infinity, extended into the following year, covering another 46,000 square miles. The company has announced that it will resume its search this year of in 2024 if it gains approval from the Malaysian government. Debris from the plane has been discovered on a number of occasions washed up on islands in the Indian Ocean or on the African coast, but the plane has never been located.

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