The Strange World of Missing Person Cases

And screenwriter Robert Hurley stays missing. Days, weeks, and months continue to pass… and the mystery deepens. Will someone find him, or at least provide answers to the mystery? All we can say is, right now, the case remains open. As do many hundreds upon hundreds of old missing person cases. Who is keeping tabs on them?


Charley Circa 1870s

Charley Circa 1870s

One of the more intriguing websites on the internet is known as the  ‘Charley Project.’ The website dedicates hundreds of pages towards keeping a light shining on unsolved missing person cases. The missing files date back upwards of 100 years. The Charley Project might be the only publicized listing for many long-forgotten cases. The website takes its name from once-famous missing person case from 1874: the disappearance of Charles Brewster Ross from the Germantown section of Philadelphia.


Perusing over the cases brings forth a strange melancholy feeling. Reading about someone who went missing in 1973 tells not only the tale of a lost soul, but also a forgotten one. Other than possibly the surviving family members, no one really pays much attention to an aged missing person file. It’s not like the case stays in the news for 25 years. Family members and friends may decide to continue the search, but who is truly capable of finding someone who seemingly vanished off the face of the earth?


Where did these people go? Each unique case has its own (unknown) answer.
Foul play often serves as a euphemism for murder or death by misadventure. The assumption about missing individuals is they are long dead. Sad to say, it would be difficult to disagree with this grim assessment. However, cases do exist where the person may not only be alive, but he or she has been living out in plain sight for years. A sad case revealed that a once-considered missing person was deliberately homeless. He was living on the streets for many years and wanted no contact with his family. And then there are strange cases where people went missing after assuming a new identity.


No, not every missing person wants to be found. A desire to stay anonymous and avoid any reuniting with friends, family, and loved ones makes it next to impossible to locate the person. 2b58b9abdb07992a69b61b25f41d0e36_missing-person-poster-stock-vector-illustration-of-blue-16343674-missing-person-poster-clipart_675-900Sometimes, a ‘Good Samaritan’ may find a ‘missing someone’ based on a publicly posted photograph or other materials. Once found, the person might decline to connect with those searching for him or her. Or, the individual might go into hiding again. Doing so may prove complicated, since an entirely new identity would need to be created. An assumed new identity requires a new security number, birth certificate, and more.
Instances of people performing a cinematic-style disappearance are rare. The average person doesn’t know how to create a new identity. So, we return to the original reason why a missing person is missing: foul play.
The search for a missing person commonly explores the circumstances behind the disappearance. Did the person have affiliations with dangerous people who could be responsible? Hopefully, the investigators will ask such questions.




In previous decades, many missing young persons were written off as runaways. In the 1960s and 1970s, younger people did run away with a higher and more alarming frequency. The cynical suggest the police would write off a kidnapping or possible kidnapping as a runaway incident to close the case. Once an investigation closes, the official search for the missing person ceases. A closed case means the police finished with it. Decades or, for that matter, months of not looking for a person can make recovering the individual next to impossible. As a clichéd comment goes, mysteries are usually solved by the police within 48 to 72 hours. While there are many unusual cases of cold files being reopened and discovered after 20 years, most cold cases stay cold.




Missing person cases do sometimes turn into “found person cases” and come with incredible, unexpected tales. Will this be the case with Robert Hurley? Time will tell.
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Be sure to visit our websites and learn more about Robert Hurley and the film that was made about his disappearance at Dostoyevsky Reimagined: The Making of Notes from the New World.

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Debbie’s Blog:

Who is tampering with our website?

Jade’s Blogs:

Has our screenwriter joined a cult?

Hurley and his imaginary friends -Part 1

Hurley and his imaginary friends – Part 2

My research into Dark onto Light

Ford’s blogs:

The Missing Screenwriter: Golden Dolls

The Missing Screenwriter: A Certain Code

The Missing Screenwriter: What’s Not on the Menu

The Missing Screenwriter: To the Breaking Point

The Missing Screenwriter: Cloak-and-Dagger

The Missing Screenwriter: An Inside Job

The Missing Screenwriter: Eyes Wide Shut

The Missing Screenwriter: Relevant Patterns

The Missing Screenwriter: When Darkness Becomes Light

The Missing Screenwriter: Diary of a Madman

The Missing Screenwriter: What We Know So Far

Mark’s blogs:

Dead End

It only got Stranger and Stranger…

My Attempts to Work with Jord, the Vlogger

Lauren’s blogs:

Production Notes: The Plight Of The Vlogger

Production Notes: A New Perspective

Production Notes: Disappearances, Dark Tidings, & Sinister Situations

Production Notes: Changing Seasons, Changing Moods, And What Comes Next

Production Notes: Vlogs, The Missing, And The Fear

Production Notes: What Happened To Robert Hurley? 

Production Notes: Incentives, Sign-Ups, And More Mysteries 

Production Notes: Saying Goodbye, Staying On Track, & Ominous Signs 

Production Notes: Incentives, Updates and the Missing Screenwriter

The Missing Screenwriter: Silence Speaks Volumes

Changes, Updates, & The Missing Screenwriter 

Shari’s blogs:

The Missing Screenwriter: Dark Onto Light continued

The Missing Screenwriter: Dark Onto Light

The Missing Screenwriter: The Journal

The Missing Screenwriter: Part Two

The Missing Screenwriter: Part One


 Edited (& the visual material – fair use) by VM Productions 

Tony Caro

In my 12th year as a full-time professional writer of online content I wrote tens of thousands of online articles, blogs, eBooks, and press releases for various clients. Subjects include entertainment, technology, sports, pop culture, finance, health & fitness, and more. My professional experience also encompasses work in film, television, radio, and live events.

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