In 2012 the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) acquired 87,217 missing person records. Of those, 32,225 were juveniles under the age of 18, and 15,141 were between the ages of 18-20.
A handful of these cases are quickly resolved, many times there's simply a lack of communication, or the person reported missing simply left home because they were angry, and preferred to be anywhere but where they were.
But in many cases there are a number of reasons why a friend or family member goes missing.
We like to lead with “stranger danger”--some man or woman who looks out of place. And it’s good policy to have; noticing that person or persons that didn’t belong has helped find and rescue many a missing loved one.
At the same time, stranger danger has been the very policy that has prohibited the rescue of the missing. Because while the community and the authorities were focused on the vagrant, or that neighbor that’s a little too bizarre for their taste, that bitter parent who lost custody in the divorce has time to change their child’s identity and take them further underground, never to be heard from again.
Yes, one of the top reasons for children disappearing is parental disputes...and many times it's other family members or those close to the family that are the culprit. Sometimes it’s the Aunt, the Uncle, a mother’s boyfriend, father’s girlfriend—someone who has developed a relationship with the child and feels that love is in play, or they think they’re in love with the child.
In “Prisoners” Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) and his wife Grace (Maria Bello), along with Franklin Birch (Terrence Howard) and his wife Nancy (Viola Davis) endure a similar situation when the youngest of the families children, Anna Dover (Erin Gerasimovich) and Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons), disappear and the focus becomes transient, Alex Jones (Paul Dano).
But after Detective Loki’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) interrogation of Jones, he concludes the drifter doesn’t know much at all about the crime; but Keller Dover is not convinced. And as precious days pass, Detective Loki becomes more convinced that however the girls went missing, it’s definitely more than one person who executed their disappearance.
Story by: Aaron Guzikowski
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Alcon Entertainment, 8:38 Productions