5 Missing People Who Were Mysteriously Found Many Years Later

When a person goes missing, the search tends to begin immediately as we all want to make sure that they’re found safe before it’s too late. Massive gatherings of people can even occur, looking for those that were reported lost.  

While most are thankfully found within a day or two, there are still many that go missing for long periods of time. The more time that passes, the less likely it is that these people are found. Here are five cases, though, in which a missing person was mysteriously found many years after their disappearance.

The Ariel Castro Kidnappings

Three girls in Cleveland, Ohio were kidnapped in the early 2000s by Ariel Castro and held captive for more than a decade. The three girls (Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus) ranged from 14 to 21 years old at the time that they went missing, and it wasn’t until 2013 that the three were found, with Knight being the oldest and in her 30s.

Each girl was featured on television as a missing person who had not been confirmed to be dead or alive, and their escape made global headlines. Berry had made her way through one security door that Castro forgot to leave unlocked, and yelled at neighbors through a window to get their attention. The police were called in and rescued the three women and the daughter that Berry had given birth to while being held captive.

Oscar Tulio Lizcano

If a politician were to suddenly go missing in the United States, it would likely be talked about nonstop until that person is found. In Colombia, however, it seemed to be a minor story until the conclusion came about. Oscar Tulio Lizcano was a congressman for the Colombia Conservative Party and an economist that was kidnapped in 2000.

Presumed dead, Lizcano turned up eight years later and suffering from malaria when he was found. It turned out that Lizcano had been kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and was held in several guerrilla camps. The economist was able to celebrate his freedom upon being rescued.

Margie Profet

Sometimes, missing people don’t actually know that they’re considered missing. That was the case for Margie Profet, a biologist that attended Cal and Harvard while writing several successful books in the 1990s. During the early 2000s, though, she had cut off contact from her family and in 2005 she was reported as missing.

Prophet had gone into isolation and was suffering from severe pain in Massachusetts, and it wasn’t until 2012 that a friend of hers told Profet that she was listed as a missing person. Profet was found in Boston and reunited with her family days later in one of the most notable cases of a found person in the 21st century.

John Darwin

In rare cases, a missing person ends up being charged with a criminal case. That was what happened with John Darwin of England. Once a teacher and prison officer, Darwin and his wife Anne faked his death in a canoeing accident so that they could collect his life insurance policy that would be around $250,000.

Darwin wasn’t declared dead, though, and was considered a missing person as his body was never discovered. The couple used the money to pay off their house and go on vacations, Darwin didn’t move to another country to hide out, and instead hid out in his own house and the house next door. Eventually, the scam was discovered and the Darwins were each sentenced to six years in prison.

Harold Wayne Lovell

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was one of the most notorious killers in American history, and many assumed that his pool cleaner Harold Wayne Lovell was among the victims. After all, Lovell cut off all communication when he was 19 and his family thought Wacy had taken his life.

Instead, Lovell only worked for Gacy for a couple of days and didn’t have much interaction with the killer. He moved down to Florida after getting into an argument with his family, and they were reunited in 2011. Lovell worked odd jobs in landscaping and construction during those years, too, but was just living off the grid.

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