National Missing Persons Day Date in the current year: February 3, 2024

National Missing Persons Day National Missing Persons Day is observed in the United States annually on February 3. It was created to raise awareness of the hundreds of thousands of people that go missing every year and highlight the importance of broad and equal coverage of all missing persons cases.

A missing person is a person who has disappeared, and it is unknown whether they are dead or alive. Many of the widely publicized missing person cases resulted from criminal abductions, but people can go missing for many other of reasons. These reasons include voluntary disappearance (for example, to escape abuse or start a new life under a new identity), mental illness, suicide or death in a remote location, joining a cult, various accidents, and many more.

There is a common misconception that a person cannot be officially declared missing unless 24 hours have passed since he or she has been last seen or contacted. Because of this, a lot of missing persons are reported too late. The first 48 hours after a disappearance are the most crucial in a missing person investigation, so law enforcement agencies emphasize the importance of reporting a missing person as soon as possible.

In most cases, a missing person is found very quickly, but some missing person cases may remain unsolved for years. Such situations can be extremely painful for a missing person’s family and friends due to uncertainty, lack of closure, and inability to deal with the person’s assets until they are formally declared dead in absentia, which usually takes seven years in most jurisdictions.

National Missing Persons Day has been observed annually since 2011. It was established by Jo Ann Lowitzer, a woman from Spring, Texas whose daughter Alexandria disappeared without a trace on April 26, 2010. Lowitzer chose the date of February 3 for the observance because it is her daughter’s birthday. 

The importance of National Missing Persons Day is indisputable because of how many missing person cases are left unsolved for a number of reasons, including insufficient media coverage. By observing it, we can draw more attention to these cases and help families who are searching for their loved ones.

There are many ways to observe National Missing Persons Day. You can look at photos on websites that cover missing person cases and check if you recognize someone. If you do, reach out to the designated authorities and tell them everything you know about the person in question.

You can also spread information about missing person cases in your area, donate to a crowdfunding campaign of a family searching for a missing family member, and post about the observance on social media with the hashtags #NationalMissingPersonsDay and #MissingPersonsDay.

National Missing Persons Day should not be confused with National Missing Children’s Day. The latter was established by Ronald Reagan in 1983; it commemorates the anniversary of the disappearance of Etan Patz, a six-year-old boy who went missing on May 25, 1979 and hasn’t been found. He was one of the first missing kids whose photo was printed on milk cartons.

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National Missing Persons Day, observances in the United States, Jo Ann Lowitzer, missing persons, disappearances