I started the site in 2004 and have run it since then.

Proof is edit to front page near email address: http://www.forthelost.org/

in a tangent, I'm also trying to raise money for some dental work: http://www.reddit.com/r/Assistance/comments/20a0n4/trying_to_raise_money_for_the_rest_of_dental_work/

Comments: 97 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Ivan_Whackinov37 karma

What about all the small and normal sized missing persons?

theorclair911 karma

They get on there too.

hn_12 karma

I don't have any questions, but I wanted to say you're doing something special with your life. Keep making the world a better place.

theorclair93 karma

Thank you.

gbeer9 karma

Have you found any of the missing persons?

theorclair912 karma

Personally, myself? No. In one case the abductor wrote me an email the authorities used to track the person down. From cases on my site? A significant amount: http://www.forthelost.org/located.html

gbeer6 karma

what did the abductor say?

theorclair911 karma

The standard "how dare you call me a child abductor when I only have a warrant out for my arrest on charges of child abduction." Almost all of the time those people are in another country where they won't be extradited, so sending the email is harmless to them. I'm not sure what she was thinking in this case.

gbeer4 karma

it was a girl abductor?

theorclair96 karma

It was written by the non-custodial mother (abductor) and her girlfriend at the time (also wanted for the crime).

gbeer5 karma


theorclair97 karma

It happens a lot, actually. I just rarely get one from someone who's still in their home country.

TChuff2 karma

If someone is in a country that can't or won't extradite, can a bounty hunter be sent to catch them or at least the child in that situation? Can you at forward the email to the authorities of that country and would they respond given that nature of the crime?

theorclair93 karma

In most cases, the country knows perfectly well they are wanted and just don't care. People sometimes try to just abduct their child back, but it has lead to arrests in many cases.

MammaPamma1 karma

How if it's your own child!

theorclair92 karma

If you don't have custody, it's illegal. And statistically, parents are the ones most likely to harm a child.

Presented without further comment: http://forthelost.wordpress.com/the-victims-of-family-abduction/

hushlittlebaby7 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA, have any of the children on your site been linked to sex trafficking?

theorclair94 karma

Not that I know of.

alpalbrown4 karma

Do you have any insight on how effective Amber Alerts are?

theorclair95 karma

They have been effective in several cases, like that of Alisa Meyer. She was literally snatched from her yard by a stranger, but he let her go because of the publicity. I wish they were issued more often for parental abduction cases. I don't know statistically how effective they might be. I do think that getting the picture of a missing person out as many places as possible can't be anything but good.

The_Cinema4 karma

What made you decide to start up this site?

theorclair97 karma

I felt like I wasn't doing enough on my own to help the missing. When Adam Haseeb died (see my comment below about him) I started to heavily focus on family abduction cases. I aim to provide content that other sites don't as well, like posters for children who don't have them and a section for closed cases.

walaska4 karma


I don't know if you're still online, but I have a serious concern with your website. It only really concerns the successful cases. Please, remove the childrens' full names from the list, keep first names only. In the future, if someone googles them they will find out some incredibly intimate and private moments that occured in that child's life. Imagine them in high school, imagine it when they are applying for jobs, etc. People get googled these days.

Obviously this doesn't apply to cases that are not closed. Maybe consult a lawyer as well to find out what your liability is if a (former) child decides to sue you at a later date. I know it's hard to believe, but this stuff can happen, and happen fast!

theorclair93 karma

I have removed resolved cases when the now adult child requests it. I have in fact gotten many lawsuit threats, but all of those were from abducting parents who were upset that I called them an abductor, warrant for their arrest nonwithstanding.

walaska4 karma

All I'm saying is be careful. Whether it is intended as such or not, it is a massive breach of the child's right to privacy - I am talking fundamental rights of the child here, not local state law or something. There's a legal storm brewing about usage of child data by NGOs / charities / Whatever in general.

If you don't post enough information to identify the child or anyone else involved (i.e. no full name, D.O.B.) you can keep the story online without too many problems. these are good stories and I think, if the site makes much income at all, they would be one of the reasons for it. Put a quick disclaimer at the top that you're not divulging all data to protect the child's privacy and you're golden.

Parental consent is flimsy as a defence

theorclair93 karma

I will take this into consideration. (DOBs aren't included in resolved cases, just the date of the disappearance.)

cherrybomb24033 karma

What is the success rate of finding the people who are missing?

theorclair99 karma

This depends on the category of missing you're talking about. Runaways and family abductions are almost always found safe (there are tragic exceptions), people who are just lost have a lower rate (some die in the wilderness), non-family abductions are lower. Even then, most non-family abductions are found safe; they usually involve someone the child knows, not a stranger.

artbug3 karma

I see you have a page for closed cases. Have you ever had any closed cases solved, or reopened? What happened?

theorclair93 karma

Yes. The most famous was Miguel Morin - he got found because his abductor was invetigated by CPS. I've heard from family members that they've been found as well. Several have had their cases reo-opened.

dagnytagart3 karma


theorclair96 karma

Of all time, counting children found? Adam Haseeb. Easily. http://forthelost.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/adam-jordan-haseeb/

Currently missing children? A lot of cases, especially ones with next to no information.

Yankee-FoxTrot3 karma

Have the authorities ever personally thanked you for your service?

theorclair94 karma

Yes. People who work for law enforcement, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and other organizations have thanked me for my services. I am in regular contact with some of them.

hushlittlebaby3 karma

I share any missing children reports I see on Facebook, what more can I do to help?

theorclair93 karma

You can go to www.missingkids.com and sign up to be a poster partner: http://www.missingkids.com/BecomePartner You then distribute the posters as you can.

Cheesydude3 karma

What made you decide to start the site?

What was it like starting up a website in 2004? Did you have any prior experience with websites before it?

theorclair92 karma

I had taught myself HTML online, and I learned more as I kept up the site. I started the site because I felt I needed to do more to help the missing.

Zukos2 karma

Have you had anyone just completely disappear with no trace or signs of foul play? If so what would be the strangest?

theorclair93 karma

Angela Westberry is up there - http://www.forthelost.org/awestberry.html

I have seen lots of cases where it's completely up in the air what happened to the person - no solid leads at all.

She_Want_The_D3 karma

ya im gonna say she was drowned or thrown overboard. Case closed

theorclair93 karma

I know her sister, who knows she reached the Bahamas, since she called her there. Both of those make sense, but that doesn't explain the loss of the boat or the others.

javi4043 karma

So no one knows who the other 3 people were, they weren't reported missing, but Angela was reported missing by her family?

Who saw her on the boat? I'm lost here.

theorclair92 karma

The boat was seen, but I don't think anyone was seen on it.

I have no idea about the other three people; even her sister didn't know who they were.

DogBoneSalesman3 karma


theorclair91 karma

You are right, and I will do so.

javi4042 karma

How was she confirmed on that boat. Anyway, the online article really doesn't provide enough detail.

theorclair92 karma

When she last talked to her sister she said she'd been on it. I do not know if she was later confirmed on it.

If you're refering to my link, I've researched the case to the bone and that's really all there is.

javi4043 karma

Girl goes to Bahamas (with friends? known?) calls home, "i was on a boat" never to be heard from again. That sounds like the summary? Anything else I'm missing? What about the trip there? Purpose, who was supposed to go? Sorry still seems light even for a case where there is no leads. There are facts missing. Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post this all here. I'm just curious.

theorclair91 karma

I know she wanted to vacation there. That's really all I know. Lots of cases have almost no information, sadly enough.

Zukos2 karma

Thanks for the reply. Thats a pretty strange case. Cases like this fascinate me. I find Ray Gricar's disappearence very odd too. Maybe you have him on your website.

theorclair92 karma

No, he's not. He only fits into one category, but no one's asked for his case there.

EvilTech51502 karma


theorclair91 karma

People do and have vanished on their own, lived their entire life without contacting anyone they used to know, and only were found on death. David McDonald, Esther Gavin, Juanita Howard.

DetectiveSH2 karma

How many people are disappearing in a year !

theorclair93 karma

Hard to tell. I've seen estimates of three hundred thousand children going missing in a year.

kam07061 karma

Americans, or worldwide?

theorclair92 karma

Americans. Worldwide I'm not as sure. Lots of kids go missing in Canada and Mexico that I know about. Mexico has no real centralized database for the missing, which makes things difficult to research.

4chanSucksNow2 karma

Thoughts on missing white children receiving majority of the attention from the media?

theorclair911 karma

It's much more complicated than that, honestly. Missing white kids who run away or get abducted by a parent get no attention unless something really weird happens. Younger kids who vanish under weird circumstances get more attention. This blog post by a friend of mine gives some more detail: http://charleyross.wordpress.com/2008/12/20/the-media-and-missing-people/

I try to keep a reasonable mix of cases on my site. It has occured to me that most of the closed cases on my site are people of minority descent, though.

EvilTech51502 karma


theorclair91 karma

I've seen cases like that before, sadly.

mandabeth51 karma

I just wanted to say thank you for the work that you do. My babysitter went missing in 1994 (I believe it was that or 93) and is still considered an endangered runaway. I occasionally Google her to see if there have been any updates.

theorclair91 karma

Laura Thompson? Krystyn Dunlap? Jennifer Perry? Bertha Sieg?

mandabeth51 karma

Monique Daniels, missing from Moore, OK

theorclair91 karma

That's 1992.

mandabeth51 karma

I was eventually counting down to 1992. Ha.

Anyway, I constantly look for more information to see if anything was found. Everything was so weird - her parents didn't report her missing for months, they said they received a letter from her but a family member said it was a hoax. In 2003, CSI actually went to the house they lived in at the time and dug up a back porch to check for any "evidence." They didn't find anything.

(Shortly after they reported her missing, the dad quickly built a back porch and they moved to Germany.)

theorclair91 karma

Yeah, it's suspicious. Her disappearance has been now classified as "Endangered Missing."

thedoh1 karma

Best success story?

theorclair91 karma

Several family abduction cases has reduced me to tears when the child was found: Nathan Slinkard, Dalton Lucas, Christopher Gulbraa (who escaped from Japan on his own), Kipper Lacy.

2ndEntropy1 karma

Have you given any thought into accepting bitcoin donations?

theorclair93 karma

I've never heard of them.

2ndEntropy1 karma

Its a newish internet thing, that has been gathering steam, if you want to know more about bitcoin there is a community on reddit at /r/bitcoin, they give a lot of love to charities accepting bitcoin and can give you advice on how to set it up. It shouldn't take long to add to your website you could be up and running today if you jump straight in and depending on how your website is constructed.

theorclair92 karma

THanks, I'll look into it.

funkarama1 karma

I vote for editing. Your decriptions do not make things too clear sometimes...

theorclair91 karma

I don't write everything on the site. The case files are written by whoever has their email address on the page, (http://www.forthelost.org/cases.html) and I keep my hands off those other than image updates. I can and will rewrite many of them, though.

Bo-Po-Mo-Fo1 karma

Out of all the cases you've had on your site, is there a particular unsolved case that haunts you?

theorclair91 karma

Lots of them, too many to name. I get frustrated, for lack of a better term, when a small child vanishes with no information at all about their disappearance, like Alexander Ferguson or Samantha Mora.

tugboat8081 karma

Why don't missing persons photos show up on pop ups for main websites? It does not make sense to me that more is not done to post photos and data etc.. for the masses. I have a few questions I am not sure if you can answer but wanted to ask anyway. 1.) Are there lobbyist that are trying to achieve laws to help increase requirements to show missing persons? 2.) If people were identified nationwide on mainstream media do you think it could cause harm in the sense that a kidnapper would become paranoid?

theorclair91 karma

For the second question, I don't think it would cause paranoia. Kidnappers might dump the kid somewhere if they were not a family member. Family members who kidnap children know very well they will have a support group. For the first, there's already laws in place to document missing people; NCIC, CODIS, Namus. They need to be used as much as possible. I'm not sure how anyone could force national media to cover missing people, and not just the good-looking ones, but if it was possible they could feature a different person every night for years.

wuffler1 karma

This is a subject I'm very interested in.

What would you say is the most prevalent reason people go missing?

Do any people go missing who are obviously not kidnapped etc? Like visible on CCTV, walking down a street, turn a corner and poof.

Do you have a list of last known locations?

Are some locations coming up more often than others?

Thanks in advance.

theorclair91 karma

Most missing children are abducted by a family member or run away. I'm not as sure about adults who go missing.

theorclair91 karma

California seems to have more missing people than any other state, but that just might be because California has a centralized missing persons database that is quite comprehensive.

Kieselstein0 karma

What was the strangest reason or story for someones disappearance?

theorclair91 karma

Not on my site, but Samuel Wilson: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1792dmirl.html

TChuff0 karma

Have you ever found someone who was missing that disappeared on their own. For example a teen who ran away or an adult who just wanted to start life over somewhere else?

theorclair91 karma

Yes, many.

BetYouCantUpvote-1 karma

how have you not found the person in my basement yet? Her name is Chelsea. She is 19 in dog years

theorclair91 karma

Because no one reported her missing, of course.

Done_Being_Polite-3 karma

Why do you only look for large people who are missing. Why not other sizes?

theorclair92 karma

I define it as one pound or more, so there's a lot of room there.

No1ChineseRestaraunt-3 karma

What's the minimum weight the missing person has to be to be considered "large?"

theorclair95 karma

One pound.

JablesRadio-5 karma

I have no idea where I am. Can you help? Does it work like that?

theorclair93 karma

I suggest GPS.