Top 2016 missing cases for Missing Persons of America website

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What are the most popular missing cases in 2016?

Over 700 stories were published in 2016 with a combined 4500 stories written since MPofA’s website started in mid 2010.  It is always interesting to me to see what is the most popular story, and I have a pretty good idea throughout the year by questions I receive and posts left by readers, which ones they might be.  Luckily, stats on the website allow me to determine which story is the most popular.  This year while doing the research for that information I found that MPofA has received a record number of visitors this year which have surpassed any previous year with a total of over 3.7 million visits, which leads to a total of over 10 million visitors since MPofA started.  Thank you everyone for stopping, reading and sharing the stories.

Now, here are the top 10 cases that were read and shared on the MPofA website in 2016:

Number 10. Still Missing –  Tammy Kingery, who went missing from South Carolina in 2014 is still a very popular story. Investigative Discovery wrote a story about her in 2016 with a link back to the MPofA sight and it has consistently kept the story in the public, along with several TV shows that have been done about Tammy. She is still missing.

Number 9. Found – Missing Julianne Lathinghouse, 15, received a lot of views. Julie’s aunt, Mandy kept posting about the search for Julianne and the frustration of keeping the case worked on by the police. She was missing for only a week, and was found. Although the circumstance surrounding her recovery was never elaborated on, a photo of Julianne looking tearful standing holding a missing poster of herself, with the word “missing” scratched out and “Found” put on it in ink, was contrary to the smiling photo that circulated when she was missing. A reminder to teens everywhere that it is a tough world out there and no one loves you like your family.

Number 8. Found – Several photos of clothing worn by a Jane Doe found in Ohio gathered a lot of views as everyone tried their hand at identifying who the person could have been. It took four months from the released the photos by police to find out who she was, Angela Hall who went missing in 1998.

Number 7. Found –  Alycia Grieshaber, started out as a single missing person poster with out much more to the story. It was her death that brought the attention to the story when she was found deceased in her car. Many on social media were trying to figure out how she died and left a lot of comments on MPofA’s Facebook page, until it was discovered she had taken her own life.

Number 6. The story I wrote a few years back about Sheriff James “Humpy” Parker is still getting a lot of visits in 2016, with many of them coming from the Reddit community.

Number 5. Found –   Mallory Curran went missing in November and her husband, Richard asked MPofA help to get the word out she was missing.  He told me that she had sent him a text message saying, “I need you” and that was the last he heard from her.  Social media took the story and ran with it and on Christmas day, Richard told me that Mallory had returned home.

Number 4.  Found – A 16-year-old Lafayette teen, Elisabeth Richardson went missing in June and was thought to be a victim of human trafficking, especially after her parents posted that a human trafficking unit is actively investigating.  Social media shared her story all over and then suddenly several weeks later she was found.  There was no further information provided and no one other than her immediately family knows exactly what happened.

Number 3. Missing –  A Houston couple went missing in Austin back in April.  There were a lot of theories as to what might have happened to them from going off the side of the road while driving back home to taking off together.  In the end it appears it was likely foul play, but no one has been arrested and the couple is still missing.

Number 2. Found – The story about the homeless Italian girl began when Lorena took a picture of the girl and thought she might be an America.  She sent me the photo and asked if I could put it on the website to see if anyone recognized her.  Once I posted the photo and story, the case began going viral and soon hit all the major news networks including international. The girl turned out to be from Sweden after her father saw her photo on the news. As of Dec. her dad is trying to get the funds to have her transferred from the Italian hospital to a Swedish hospital near the family home.

And for the number one viewed case:

Number 1. Found –  Rachael Mattice. She was the young woman that disappeared from her parents cabin in the woods and the car was found with the door ajar. Many thought she had been grabbed and were thankful she was found alive two weeks later. But the story just didn’t seem to make any sense to social media, and many people commented on it and talked about it till the police announced that the story was all a hoax.

If you are wondering about a case and don’t see it on the list, click on the google search box above and type in a name or city and it will give you a list of stories to choose from.  If you don’t remember the name or city, sometimes you can put something in like “Italian girl” or “Houston couple” and the search box will give you a list of possibilities.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America and Missing Texas Forty.

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