When I was 4 I got lost in a city and was rescued by what my dad thought was a gang. We had dinner in Chinatown with another family. 5 kids in all. Crossing the street after dinner, we were holding hands in a big chain.
My older sibling let go. When the light changed and everyone crossed I stayed on the sidewalk - I was looking through a window into a barber shop where some huge guy was having his head shaved - can still picture the scene.
When I finally looked around everyone was gone. I started to cry. A group of teenagers approached and asked if I was lost. I said yes.
A tall kid hoisted me into his shoulders and started down the block. Other kids split up and went in different directions.
We rounded a corner and I saw my dad. He turned white and ran toward us. The kid lowered me to the ground. A few other kids were there.
They stood around awkwardly while the tall kid explained what happened to my dad.
My dad (not a demonstrative guy) flung himself at the kid and hugged him. My mom appeared and picked me up.
Years later my dad told me he saw the same group of kids hanging around when he first parked in the city that evening and was suspicious that they were a gang.
He was embarrassed and tried to be less judgmental after that. Wish I could thank those guys. This was a long time ago.
My friend and I were 15 at the time when we were both drugged and taken various places within the state for 3 days.
During this time we were constantly separated, reunited, drugged, emotionally/physically abused, and honestly feared that we would end up being murdered.
for 3 days we were constantly on the move. We never visited any homes. They made us sleep in wooded areas with thin blankets, separated from each other. This was during winter although there was no snow yet.
The man (sounds strange calling him a man) that I was will was nicer than the other. He seemed to be the follower. He never did anything as cruel as the other did, but to this day I can't stand certain names, accents, clothing, looks in general. When I say he was nicer it's because he was rather gentle instead of forceful.
on the third day they took us to a town about 40 miles south of our home in the middle of frankly no where. It's a town with one gas station, and few homes. They left us on the mountainside, told us the common " if you call the police blah blah we'll kill you, blah blah" We were there for a while before another car came around (hunting is rather popular around those parts)
The guys who found us thought we had been stabbed or shot. Looking back I was a fucking chaotic mess as they tried to approach us. I became very defensive as my friend was still mostly lethargic and I didn't believe that they were there to help us.
Another half hour maybe passed and police finally showed up. I hadn't felt so happy to see officers before in my entire life because I had been one of those "fuck the police" stupid girls back then. I remember falling and just crying. I remember grabbing my friend and telling her it was going to be okay.
about a week later they found the guys. they arrested them, and they went to prison for some time. They both plead guilty for reduced sentences.
The drugs they gave us make a lot of the details sketchy, so I can't really remember to much. I have scars still, I have trust issues. My friend on the other hand turned to drugs quickly after and we've lost touch with one another.
I was living with my new husband in a town about a thousand miles away from my mother, who has always been a world class worrier. This was in the days before everyone had a cel phone.
His entire family was going to be invading us in a few days, so I was polishing up the apartment to look good, and in the process of wiping fingerprints off the phone, I turned the ringer off, and did not notice.
We'd just moved in, so several days without any calls wasn't unusual.
Fast forward. The in-laws have just arrived while I am lying down in the bedroom taking a nap because I have been spit shining everything in the place and making tasty baked goods all while coming down with a bad cold.
There's a knock on the front door. My husband comes to the bedroom, and says there's someone who wants to talk to me.
It's the police, and they insist on talking to me alone in the hallway to make sure everything is really, truly ok, then they tell me to call my mother.
I come back in to see his parents, sister, brother-in-law, their seven kids, and a passel of assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, all staring silently at me.
But wait, there's more. Mom didn't have our address, all she had was a description of the building.
The town was small enough that the police knew just where that was, but they didn't know what apartment, so they knocked on every other door in the building before getting to us on the top floor corner unit.
One time, when I was a kid, I went with my mom to the Laundry mat near our house. I had a batch of new comics with me, so after we loaded the washing machines I sat down and started reading.
After finishing my 3rd or 4th comic I set it down and went to see if the machines were done yet. They were, so I started unloading them into the rolling basket thing to move the clothes over to the dryers. My mom comes in and yells "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!".
I'm baffled for a second. "I've been here... why?"
"NO YOU HAVEN'T! AFTER WE LOADED THE WASHING MACHINES YOU DISAPPEARED AND I COULDN'T FIND YOU! I CALLED THE HOUSE AND YOU WEREN'T HOME. WHERE DID YOU GO?!"
"I went over to that chair over there to read my comics."
"NO YOU DIDN'T! I WAS LOOKING ALL OVER FOR YOU, I'D HAVE SEEN YOU!"
Right then some kind chimed in "Excuse me miss, but I've been her for about a half hour, and your kids' been over there reading quietly the whole time."
My mom huffed and fumed and then went and called the house to tell them where I was.
I was missing for 8 hours after my very first day of 1st grade, and mobilized the entire police force of the rural town where I grew up.
Before I was old enough for school, my (single) mom used to drop me off at a daycare place every day and pick me up every evening. This was in 1986, so way before cell phones or pagers were common.
When I got old enough for first grade, my mom took me out of day care because it was expensive and school would be my day care now.
My school was brand new, my first day would also be the first day the school was open. It was also the principal's first day as a principal and my teacher's first day as a full time teacher.
My mom did all the right things before she put me on the bus. She wrote my bus number in permanent marker on the back of my hand, gave me specific instructions and made me repeat them back to her, put all of her contact information in my pockets, etc.
The first day at school was perfectly normal: I wrote ABCs, drew pictures with crayons, etc. Just like in daycare. My only specific memory was the cafeteria staff bring our lunches to us in the classroom, because the construction on the cafeteria wasn't complete yet.
School gets out and I head to the buses, staring dutifully at the bus number written on my hand ... but, the after-school pickup van from the daycare we used to attend was also there. The staffer from the daycare recognized me as I was walking by and called out "hey Anschauung! We're over here. Come on, were about to leave!". I guess she didn't know or didn't remember that my mom had taken me out of daycare. Anyhow, this lady was a known adult authority figure, so I assumed plans had changed and I got on the bus.
Three stories happening at this point:
Story 1: Six-year-old me had the best day at daycare ever. All my old friends were there, we talked about our first day at school, we played and played and played and seemed to last forever. Even after all my friends mommies picked them up and I was the only one left, I had all the toys to myself. I was sooooo confused when my mom finally arrived crying, bawling like I'd never seen her before.
Story 2: My mom gets off work and waits at my bus stop ... I don't get off the bus. She calls the school and they mobilize the whole staff to look for me (maybe I'm hiding in a bathroom?) ... they don't find me. Hours have passed and she's in full freak-out mode now ... she calls the police. The police start searching the fields and farms near the school ... still no Anschauung.
They bring in more officers and more officers until pretty much the entire police force of this tiny town is looking for me. Meanwhile, my principal and my teacher are having the worst day of their lives ... how could they lose a fucking six-year-old on their very first day?!
All the searching turns up nothing and it's past midnight now, so some poor officer had to tell my mom "Ma'am, you should go home. We'll keep looking all night but we won't be able to find much until the morning". My mom goes home thinking her baby is probably dead, and arrives home to find her answering machine full.
Story 3: "It's 2 hours past closing time, and this kid's mom still hasn't picked him up" "Didn't she cancel her service last week? Why is he even here?" "Call her again." "Her answering machine is full" "Fuck, we better be getting overtime for this".
So ... yeah. I managed to upset an entire school system and traumatize my mom on my first day of school. I still refuse to accept responsibility. I was just doing what the growups told me.
From Reddit u/Animal_Wizzard:In middle school, there was this kid in our class. He had anger issues and some type of disability that made it hard for him to talk about how he was feeling. I remember vividly one day, the class was doing something quietly, and the teacher was talking with him. She must have said something to upset him, because he picked up the chair, threw it across the room, and stormed out of the classroom. There was another time when I was walking back into the class - I think I was coming back from lunch - and he started punching the metal lockers, then smacking his head against them.Someone either told a teacher or they heard him, because he was quickly removed somewhere for the rest of the day. He wasn't always mean, though. For show and tell, where we needed to take a video about a talent of ours, he did Rubik's Cubes and the whole class (including me) asked him to do it in person. It was amazing.One day, we all realized he hadn't come to school in a while. We didn't notice right away because it was normal for him to take off a day or two, but this lasted a week... After awhile of worrying, some kids in our class found out that there was a missing person report for him. There was a lot of gossip during that time, and I don't know most of it. After a year, everyone had forgotten about him, except for the occasional "Remember when?". It was during that point when his body was found washed up from some source of water. I'm not exactly sure where it was. After that, gossip exploded, saying that he ran away, was really kidnapped, and other things. About half a year later, I heard that he was actually held against his will by his mother, and she threw him in some type of water source to get rid of him.
27. Disappeared While Riding Her Bike Home At Night
From Reddit u/SeedlingsRise:The younger sister of a girl I knew in my hometown went missing while riding her bike home late at night back in 2012. She was 21 or 22 at the time. Really pretty, vivacious girl. The whole community was upset over it.They found her smashed-up bike a week or so later 25 miles or so from where she was last seen. She rode past several businesses on her way home, so there was a lot of video surveillance footage. Police tracked down a truck that seemed like it was following her.The owner of the truck was arrested, and they found her body about a week later. She apparently put up a good fight when she was abducted - her killer checked in to the hospital the next day with multiple stab wounds. He confessed to the crime in exchange for no chance of getting the death penalty and said that she pepper sprayed him as well. I remember her sister talking to the press while she was missing, saying, “Keep an eye out for someone that looks beat up, like they got in a fight.” She knew her sister would go down swinging.Really sad story, I think about it a lot. It’s a college town, and it wasn’t uncommon at all for young adults to walk or bike home after a night out. At her age, my friends and I were doing the same thing. I feel like the city was never really the same after she was killed.
From Reddit u/Personal_Conflict346:The professor of my Criminology 101 class in college went missing before our final exam. We didn’t have to take the final and just ended the class with our current grade.To this day, they haven’t found him, but I think he is still alive and is trying to not be found. He was too weird of a dude and had too much joy when he would show us pictures of dead bodies.
From Reddit u/Missesmommypants:26 years ago this Valentines Day, a friend of mine went missing between checkpoints for the Navy ship he was reporting for duty to. Just vanished. He went through two checkpoints and never reached the third.They searched everywhere for him, they even moved all of the ships out of the bay and drug it, but never found even a trace of him. Several years later, the Navy declared him dead. His wife was pregnant at the time of his disappearance. His family has been through hell and continued searching for him even after he was declared dead. Truly awful situation.
From Reddit u/InfiniteMetal:An acquaintance from college who is legally blind and loved to travel went missing while visiting South America. She is of South American descent and speaks Spanish, but something must have happened to her.The country where she went missing and the US have investigated, and her family has gone there to look, but there are no leads. She just vanished.
31. Little Girl Goes Missing In The Middle Of The Night
From Reddit u/AWACS_Galaxy:A girl in my sister's class went missing in the middle of the night, right out of her bed. Everyone accused the dad of doing something and would constantly harass him. Nancy Grace even accused the parents of being behind her disappearance because she was wearing basketball shorts and it was suspicious because, "That's not what my kids go to bed in, I make sure they wear pajamas." (This was in southern Arizona in July, by the way. It's pretty common to wear shorts to bed). Turns out, a dude a few streets down killed her, and they found her body eventually...
From Reddit u/talidrow:A friend and coworker of my mom's just didn't make it home from work one night. Her car turned up beside a dirt road way outside town a few weeks later with her purse still in it. This was in the early-mid '80s, so there was no cell phone to track, no indication she stopped anywhere with security cameras, she was just gone. Her skeletal remains were found by a hunter in a completely different place from her car about two years later, and as far as I know, I'm pretty sure her murder is still unsolved today.
33. Couple Goes Missing Off A Boat In Baja California
From Reddit u/Reversephoenix77:Good family friend's brother and wife went missing without a trace in 2008. Husband and wife went out on their boat to Baja California and disappeared. The boat was found, and no trace of any struggle or foul play. Their weapons were still on the boat, undisturbed. The family was all very close, and they are devastated.There was no motive to fake a death/start a new life. The case was investigated extensively and still no answers.
From Reddit u/AmandrinOranges:In high school, a girl went missing for about a week. If I call correctly, she had a history of drug use and running away but never that long.It turns out she was with older men who had given her drugs. They found what was left of her body because the men posted Snapchat videos of them trying to get rid of her. It was so sad. My parents tried to shelter me from the news, so the details are little blurry.
From Reddit u/knotjust:My mom's brother was kidnapped when he was two. My grandma was a crazy drunk who 100% abused her children. She didn't want to get any police attention, so she never reported it. This was back in like 1959 or something. At least, this is what she told my mom. My mom doesn't actually know if he was kidnapped or if something else happened to him. All she knows is that she never saw her brother again.
36. Cousin From Other Side Of Country Country Went Missing
From Reddit u/Beep9573Boop:A few years ago, my cousin went missing. I live on the other side of the country, so most of what happened was relayed to me from a few family members, and I never really got the whole story. Now it just seems too sore of a subject to ask for details about. My cousin was like 15 years older than me (I am 36 now), she had issues with drugs for years. Off and on, she would be stable for periods of time then drop off again. I had not really seen her in about 10 years.Her remains were found a few months after she went missing, in the woods close to where she was last seen alive. She was staying with a man and his mother. A neighbor had said they saw my cousin and the man walk into the woods together shortly before she went missing. Since the remains were skeletal and it took almost a year for a positive ID through DNA, there wasn't really any evidence to work with. My family believes the man killed her, but nothing ever came of an arrest or charges. That I know of.
From Reddit u/Remarkable_Echo4224:My aunt's best friends husband went missing at Joshua Tree. He and his wife were on their anniversary and just before they were about to leave (car and bags were packed) he said, "Hey, I’m just going to go for a quick walk," and he never returned.They still haven’t found his body and this was three years ago. So sad and he had a few kids, too.
From Reddit u/dmac0331:An old friend in high school went on a group camping trip in the national forest near my city. She and the group were the hippie/spiritual type "let's go do shrooms in the forest"-type people.At some point, she told the group she was going on a solo walk. She went into the dark alone and naked, and no one stopped to think maybe it wasn't a good idea. She never came back.
From Reddit u/Rescue-320:Local man went missing. Town of 300 and he hitch-hiked from one side to the other every single day because nobody works, and he was a bored 65 year old.One day, his wife reported that he’d never come home. It wasn’t entirely impossible that he’d huddled in the woods for the night, but after two days without his heart meds, they assumed the worst.His body has still not been found, but a guy was arrested four weeks later after his ditched truck was found in a random place. There was blood on the front that he claimed to be moose blood, but it turned out to be Andy’s blood. He had run him over and didn’t know what to do, so he drove his body to the causeway and dumped him into the ocean. RIP Andy.
From Reddit u/lehombrejoker:Good friend of mine disappeared 12 years ago. He went hunting with a couple good friends of ours. One morning, they woke up, and he was just gone. His tent was perfectly fine, and it didn't even look like he had slept that night. His truck, rifle, and dog were still there, but he was gone, the only thing he took was his knife and .44 Magnum.We spent a full month looking and never found a trace. Four years ago, I went back and I found him. He had probably gone to take a sh*t and fell into the cave. He had lived for maybe two weeks before he died. His funeral was in 2018.