Category: Mystery

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.

5 Murder Cases That Were Solved By Citizens

Whenever a murder case arises, we leave it to law enforcement to crack the case and find out who was responsible. However, there are some cases that stump even the most trained professionals, and cases can go cold for years and decades. However, some interested parties have done some sleuthing on their own time to solve some of the hardest murder cases over the years, leading to answered questions and peace of mind. Here are five murder cases that were solve by citizens instead of law enforcement.

Dana Lynn Dodd

On the night of October 29th, 2006 in Kilgore Texas, a pair of strangers walking down the street discovered the fiery remains of Dana Lynn Dodd. She had been recently murdered and her body set ablaze in the woods. At first, investigators had no leads and no clue who this Jane Doe could be. 

She was affectionately named Lavender Doe due to the color of her shirt when found. It took twelve years and extensive digging online for three civilian sleuths Lori Gaff, Kevin Lord, and Missy Koski to uncover her true identity. Eventually, the murderer, Joseph Wayne’s Burnette, confessed to the killing as well as the murder of another woman who was living with him at the time. He was charged and convicted, set to serve three consecutive 50-year sentences. Through this tragedy, the DNA Doe Project was founded. 

Gregory May

In 2001 a man named Gregory May suddenly vanished from his Iowa apartment he shared with his friend Douglas DeBruin and DeBruin’s girlfriend Julie. After May went missing, his beloved artifacts and rare antique collector’s items had been popping up at different locations with May nowhere to be found. 

That same year a man’s skull was found decapitated and buried in a solidified bucket of concrete at a truck stop in Missouri. In 2005 an internet sleuth named Ellen Leach, who made it a hobby to crack cold cases, matched a picture of the still-missing May with the reconstructed head model of the severed head found by the truck stop. The break in the case led to DeBruin being apprehended by police after he fled to Arizona. 

Jessica Currin

Jessica Currin’s body was found dead near a middle school in Mayfield Kentucky in the summer of 2000. She had been sexually assaulted, bludgeoned to death, and set on fire. She left behind an infant son. Her murder was first pinned on the baby’s father but never gained traction due to the irresponsible handling of the case by the police. 

The true killer was revealed by Susan Galbreath, an amateur sleuth who spends her time attempting to solve cases just like Currin’s. After years of research, talking to people in the town, and even speaking to the victim’s suspected killer, someone finally came forward and gave a statement pinning the murder on the man Galbreath had suspected, Quincy Cross. Cross was sentenced to life in prison. 

Joseph James DeAngelo 

Joseph James DeAngelo, coined The Golden State Killer by author and sleuth Michelle McNamara, is responsible for the murders of 13, sexual assaults of 51, and burglary of 120. He was active between 1974 and 1986, not being apprehended until 2018. 

Michelle McNamara was a writer who took an extreme interest in the slurry of unsolved cases. Before her untimely death, she wrote a book dedicated to the crimes and her views on it. Detailing the kind of person she thought committed the crimes and bringing awareness to the cold cases. That all led to DeAngelo being apprehended after police connected the dots via familial DNA. DeAngelo is currently serving 12 life sentences. 

Tara Grinstead 

Tara Grinstead was a high school teacher in Georgia, where she went missing in October of 2005. She was declared dead in 2010, though she had not been found by that time. In later years, Payne Lindsey’s true crime podcast Up and Vanished featured Grinstead’s case. 

With the podcast bringing awareness to the case, tips began coming in and police finally arrested and charged Ryan Duke with Grinstead’s murder. It has been discovered that he had burglarized her home and strangled her to death when she caught him in the act. In 2022 Duke was convicted and sentenced to a measly 10 years in prison for this heinous crime. 

5 Mysterious Murder Cases Left Unsolved

In most murder cases, the suspect is found and questioned within the first 48 hours, especially as forensic technology has increased tremendously. In years past, though, it was much more difficult to find a ruthless killer, and many cases left authorities stumped.

Some of these murder cases have become a thing of legend, with many having their theories as to who did it and what happened to the suspect. However, these cases (as far as the general public is concerned) are still wide open. Here are five of the most mysterious murder cases that are still unsolved to this day.

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is a case that stands out due to the brutal nature of the crimes and the presumably highly intelligent unknown individual serial killer behind the murders. 

The killings took place in London England through 1888, more specifically within the Whitechapel district. Although the killer’s identity has never been discovered, there are at least five murders Jack the Ripper has been thought to have committed. The precise nature of the mutilation of the victims leaves people to believe he was an intelligent man with a surgical background. 

Zodiac Killer

The Zodiac Killer is a name most people have heard at least once in their life. The mysterious and odd nature of the case has gained the interest of many, including filmmakers. The notorious killer targeted younger couples for the most part and was known to be active in Southern California and possibly Nevada in the late 1960s. 

He has sadly claimed the lives of at least five victims and injured two others that fortunately escaped. What really makes this case intriguing is that for the 60 years following, the killer’s identity still remains a mystery. With the threat of violence, the killer forced newspapers to print his cryptic messages. One code was cracked in 2020 and a couple, as well as the killer’s identity, still remain unknown. 

Julie Ward

Julie Ward was a bright woman with a kind nature. Her life, unfortunately, came to a brutal end when the wildlife photographer was murdered while on a trip to Kenya, Africa. She and her friend Dr. Glen Burns set out on a safari and while on their way to the Masai Mara game reserve, their vehicle broke down. 

Dr. Burns made his way to Nairobi, while Ward stayed the night at a nearby lodge. After the vehicle was repaired, Ward left to retrieve some supplies from a nearby camp and was never seen again. Her father, a wealthy former hotelier, used almost £2 million of his fortune to investigate the disappearance of his daughter, who he sadly found murdered and mutilated on one of his many trips to Kenya. Sadly, the murder has yet to be solved, but her father continues to seek justice. 

 The Grimes Sisters 

The disappearance and murder of the Grime sisters, Barbara and Patricia, is one that shook Chicago in December of 1956. The two girls, aged 12 and 15, went to a viewing of Love Me Tender at a theater in Brighton Park, promising to be back home before midnight. When the girls didn’t return, their mother filed a missing person report around 2 am that night. 

It wasn’t until January 1957 that their bodies were discovered by a motorist driving down German Church road in Willow Springs, where the surrounding snow had melted and revealed the girls. The identity of the killer has never been found, although there had been some people of interest questioned by police.  

The Boy in the Box

A sad story where not only is the identity of the killer unknown, but the identity of the victim also remains unknown. In February of 1957, a young boy was found deceased inside a cardboard box. 

The discovery was made by two passersby, only one smart enough to report the body to the police. Although groomed, the young boy was malnourished and had injuries that led investigators to believe the sweet child had been severely beaten and abused. The despicable killer responsible for his death has never been identified.