Thousands Reported Missing Each Year in NJ [AUDIO]
Each year about 13,000 people are reported missing in New Jersey, but most of those people are located according to the New Jersey State Police.
The state police said there are a number of reasons why people go missing.
“We have miscommunication. We also have runaways and people that take tragic turns with their lives. And don’t forget you also have foul play,” said Lt. Louis Andrinopoulos, head of the state police Missing Persons and Child Exploitation Unit.
In other cases, people wander off because they suffer from a medical condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Andrinopoulos said law enforcement should be informed immediately when someone goes missing. “You want to make the phone call and report that person missing. You don’t want to waste any time trying to find them on your own. Time is of the essence – is of value to law enforcement.”
He said there’s no waiting period to file a missing persons report. In 2008, former Gov. Jon Corzine signed Patricia’s Law which says there is no waiting period for reporting a missing child or adult.
“That 24-hour myth – that’s exactly what it is, it’s a myth,” Andrinopoulos said.
Social media has become an important tool in solving missing persons cases according to Andrinopoulos. “We will post people on our Facebook page, put it in Nixle, Twitter. We are able to close 99 percent of all missing persons cases where there’s a happy ending.”
Thirteen hundred missing persons cases remain unsolved since 1971.