27 People Describe What It’s Actually Like To Have Someone You Know Go Missing Or Be Murdered

People on r/askreddit discussed the personal cases where someone they knew went missing or was murdered and what it was really like to be on the inside of the case.


“One of my college professors from about 7 years ago when I first started school at the community college level disappeared. Nobody knew he was missing until the semester started and he didn’t show up. They backtracked and realized the last time someone saw his was several weeks prior. No evidence of a break in at his place. no evidence that he ran away. No criminal history. Nothing. Just gone. Been missing since.” — dynasoreshicken

She insisted she was okay

“My mom is a part time nanny and watches kids from time to time. Recently she was watching a 2 year old baby boy from since when he was a newborn. One day his mom picked him up after work from our house claiming that she was receiving messages from angels sent from God and hearing voices in her head. My parents were reluctant to let her leave with her son but she insisted that everything was okay and she was going to go talk to someone about it.

The next day she never dropped off the baby boy at our house or answered her phone so my dad got worried and drove over to her condo.

The cops had taped off the entire neighborhood and were not letting anyone in to her condos. We found out about an hour later that she had stabbed her baby to death and lit a fire in her condo in the middle of the night. It was absolutely devastating in our community as well. My family was heartbroken.” — GRAWLIXXXX

The coroner couldn’t find a cause of death

“I did, but no one really knows what happened. He was 17, and had a bit of an argument with his mother. The next day he got the bus into town for a haircut, where my gran saw him. They just happened to get the same bus back, bumped into each other again in town making her one of the last people to see him.

No one knows what happened after that. No one saw him for the next two months. The house and area was searched, but all they learned was that his phone charger and passport were still at home.

Finally the police searched the garden again, and that time they found his body, or what was left of it. I have no idea how no one smelled it; it was the hottest part of the year. The coroner could never find a cause of death, only that it wasn’t drink or drugs.” — peanutthecacti

Disappearance at scout camp

“One of my friends in high school had his little brother go missing. This was in 2004 and he has still never been found.

It’s a pretty high profile case and I’ve seen it posted on Reddit a bunch and seen a few popular podcasts do episodes on it. Basically he was on a scout camp out with his dad and they went fishing early in the morning. He got his shoes and socks wet and went to walk back to the camp which wasnt very far away and was never seen again.

The whole town was talking about it for weeks. Tons of search and rescue volunteers were out looking but came up empty. His family was so strong during all of it. You could tell they were hurting but they really came together and the community around them did too. My friend never talked about it much other than telling me how hard it was to not have any idea what happened or where his brother was. That would haunt me forever, he’s a much stronger man than me.” — USCplaya

She said she didn’t want to be found

“My girlfriend went missing for 7 years. Law enforcement informed her family the ones that filed the missing persons report that she was found safe and alive but wouldn’t disclose her whereabouts. Bittersweet ending to all that…” — sharpj91

He wasn’t actually missing

“A friend of mine I’ll call Dan up and vanished one spring day in 1997 with his dog and a duffel-bag, telling the neighbors he’d be back in a few days.

As far as his parents could tell the only things missing from his room were some t-shirts, a bong, and his spare eyeglasses, so they weren’t worried. He’d even left his car and keys.

Still, after a week without word, his parents reported him missing. Police, at least according to his mother, were useless, writing the whole thing off as “Young adult decides to go find himself” as soon as they found out he’d bought camping supplies and beer the day he disappeared.

The police were right. Dan turned up four years later, announcing he was alive by walking into the bar his uncle owned, with the dog, to say hello.

Seems he’d gone to an outdoor festival, ran into a guy he went to high-school with, and got offered a job doing lighting. After a year of traveling from one show to another he got a more or less steady gig at an arena in Texas, which led to a side-job doing community theater, a wife he met when she auditioned for a Tennessee Williams play, and finally a baby on the way.” — technos

Slayer of Innocence

“Yeah, when I was a kid, about 10 (back in the mid-70’s), one of my neighborhood friends went missing. He had been abducted by a train hopping hobo, raped and murdered. Turns out the guy had killed a number of young boys across the country, riding the trains and stopping at different county fairs, snatching kids.

The police detective from my town wrote a book about it, called Slayer of Innocence. Pretty harrowing story.” — jcpmojo

59 blows to the head

“Friend was murdered by his roommate. Killed by (best guess by coroner) 59 blows to the head with a ball-peen hammer.” — doc_hoovie

Don’t tell people you have money in your house!!!

“My neighbor was murdered. This happened about 20 years ago. Apparently, he was having some work done in his house and got a little too friendly with the worker. He let it slip he had a lot of money in house. About a week after he finished the job, the worker came back, broke into the house and shot him.” — Tricky4279

If there’s a vigil, the killer will always be there

“My senior year of high school, a 12 year old was killed for her bike. The murders were teenagers who put her body in the recycling bin.

There was a pry vigil the night before they found her. I stood next to the boys, they were laughing and acting like nothing was going on. Less then 24 hours later, they were arrested.

It was a small town, so I her family. It still such a hard thing to think about.” — notgivingupmyshot

“Mom, it’s me”

“Growing up one of my family friends oldest daughter was missing. I was too little to remember meeting her, so all growing up I just heard about my friend’s sister. She had always been somewhat troubled and got in with a bad crowd. When she was 16 she just disappeared one day. Her mom kept doing everything she could to find out anything, but there were no leads. No one could find anything on her and because of her age/lifestyle, after years of nothing they were afraid she was dead.

Then one day out of the blue, after more than 10 years of nothing, they got a phone call that just said “mom, it’s me”. Turns out that she moved across the country with some creep. She eventually got smart and left him, but was too afraid/ashamed to call home. When she finally did call home, not only were they overjoyed that their long los daughter was alive, but she was also doing incredibly well. She’d gotten her life together, gotten her GED, went to college, had a good job as well as an amazing husband and young son. Since she reunited with her family she has gotten to know her younger siblings (who were toddlers when she left) and they have gotten to know her, her husband, and son. She still lives across the country from them, but she continues to do really well and they’ve all built a great relationship with one another.” — Murderino30

Total 180

“A woman I went to church (and later university) with as a kid. I maybe talked to her casually in passing; she was a few years older than me and our social circles did not overlap. But she was always kind of a “golden child”. Sang in the choir, graduated with good grades and went on to medical school. She moved away to a new state to start her training as a psychiatrist, but went mysteriously missing after a few months. Her disappearance spread rapidly on social media because she was so universally liked.

Then weird stuff started coming out of the woodwork.

— Her ex husband came forward and said that she always struggled with mental health, and it was one of the things that led to their breakup.

— A famous gospel singer claimed that she had been stalking him for years through phone calls, social media videos referring to herself as “his wife”, had written him hundreds of letters, and had even contacted his children. This had led him to file a restraining order against her.

— A surveillance video surfaced of her attempting to check into a hotel several miles away from where she worked, offering cash and then being erratic when they wouldn’t accept it. She was wearing dark clothes and sunglasses at 3am, and refused to provide ID. The video showed her ducking and weaving behind cars in the parking lot, as if hiding from something.

— They found her car 100 miles away from town with a flat tire; her wallet and ID were inside. Dogs followed her trail to the interstate, where they lost the scent.

That was the last thing anyone heard about the case for several months. They found a body in a lake nearby that was supposedly identified as her by dental records. IIRC they ruled the death an accidental drowning, but the circumstances leading up to it make the whole thing sounded super sketchy.” — Iamthewarthog

Never saw it coming

“My fourth grade teacher was asleep on the couch when her college- aged son stabbed her to death.

He’s out of prison now. I think he served 20 years.” — NotSoSmartChick

She turned him down for a date

“My 3rd grade student was found murdered on top of her murdered grandmother in their bath tub.

Ten years later, they caught the guy. It was the creep in the apartment that lived above them. The surviving mother had turned him down on a date.” — Stabfacenotback

My mom saw it coming

“Yes and it’s a heavy one. I lived in an apartment with my mom and brother when I was around 5-6 and there was a family that lived above us that had 2 girls that were around my age. A few months into living in that apartment, my mom started baby sitting those girls AT LEAST once a week. My mom started to get really weird feelings and red flags from the parents and just knew something wasn’t right. One of the girls was special needs and the way she would cling to my mom for dear life made us all feel a little off. My mom suspected they were neglected or abused but could never do anything about it because she never had any evidence (however, I do believe the parents did end up having cps called on them a few times). My mom at one point even tried to make friends with the crappy parents just to try and snoop around. Nothing ever came of it though…

A few years later, we have moved out of that apartment and for the first year my mom tried her best to keep contact but not being in the same building as them made it hard to stay in touch. My mom thought everything might be okay until one day, she’s watching the local new and sees the parents mug shots on TV being sentenced to prison for the murder of their special needs daughter. My mom was devastated for so long after this and blamed herself for so much. I remember staying with my dad a lot at those times. I didn’t understand much at that time but now it’s so heart breaking to think of because I had such a good time with those girls.” — hexus_116

They tried to help

“This friend of mine’s parents were killed in cold blood in 2016 while trying to help a friend of theirs cool down a domestic dispute. The woman’s husband got a gun, and shot both my friend’s mom and dad dead. He’s now rotting in prison, where he belongs. But the community felt the sting, big time.” — SamDaMan97

Her father killed her

“My childhood friend was killed by her father because his wife had cheated on him with another man. I had given her some of my clothes because when he found out, the mom and my friend just left without anything. One day he went and picked her up from the sitter’s house and he killed her and then tried to kill himself but he didn’t die. I remember going to her funeral and seeing where he had stabbed her on the chest because they just sort of put gauze dressing over it and from the mother hugging on her, the collar of the dress was kinda pulled down when I got to see her. She was 10.” — banks4luci

Another professor

“One of my college professors didn’t show up to the final and found an article online she was found dead in the trunk of a car driven into a pond.” — PoopieDooky

He ran into the wrong people

“This guy in my senior class – 1983 – that grew up down the street from me went missing the summer after we graduated. He went into a bar in downtown Detroit and that was the last anyone ever saw of him.

About 1016 years ago, a forensic team finally identified a skull that had been discovered at the bottom of a canal. They did the whole facial reconstruction thing and it turned out to be Shawn. Nobody (except his killers) knows what really happened, but he ran into the wrong people, and they dumped his body hoping nobody would ever find it.” — gogojack

Job interview horror

“My brother went to a job interview and never came home. His bike was found chained up in town & his C.V scattered along mudflats. I saw him everywhere. I’d chase strangers down the street thinking it was him. It was all over the news. People were calling with sighting of him hitchhiking in various locations and even boarding a ship. One morning 7 years later I was woken by my mum to say he had been found by a kayaker about 3kms down stream from where he was last seen, still wearing the same clothes he went for an interview that day.” — Hexa_decimals

They only found her car

“My aunt’s mother has been missing for nearly 40 years.

There’s a lot of weird stuff that points to her recent (at the time) ex-husband being a pretty likely suspect, but there just isn’t enough evidence to tie him to anything; no cell phone records or traffic cameras back then.

Her car was found on the side of a highway in Sussex County, Delaware, unlocked.” — AcrolloPeed

“Nobody cared”

“A girl in our grade went missing but she was already 18 and didn’t have many friends. It felt like no one noticed and my teacher told me the school wasn’t responsible because she is of age. I asked why it seemed like nobody knew and she just said she suspects it’s just that nobody cared. It broke my heart even though I never knew the girl and wouldn’t even know how to help it struck me. I never found out wjeat happened to the girl.” — TheRedditMe123

Murdered by her boyfriend

“My babysitter was murdered by her boyfriend when I was seven years old. I used to be left in the same room with this man on multiple occasions.

Once, he chewed my babysitter’s driver’s license up and blamed it on me. He was in his twenties at least, and even at seven, I knew this was odd behavior so I refused to be in the same room with him alone again.

Not two weeks after that incident, he smothered her with a pillow, killing her and her unborn child.” — sylvanwhisper

Sounds like Amy Dunne

“College buddy who moved to Illinois to study law. They found his car parked on a bridge over the Mississippi River with the lights on, door open, and keys in the ignition. His home was fine in all ways except his phone was in the trash. A day before his funeral mass another college buddy got all his cigar collection in the mail saying he hopes he enjoys them. He had been making plans to come visit a third college buddy for weeks.

No warning signs. No suicide note. No body ever recovered. Nothing. Phil is just gone.” — CustosClavium

Christmas Eve murder

“My sister’s high school math teacher. I met her a few times, but never really talked.

She was stabbed to death by her boyfriend with a boxcutter in a parking lot on Christmas Eve.” — butdoesitfly

No one knows what happened to her

“This girl I went to high school with had a rough life. One day she showed up at the local golf course, beaten, half naked, and delirious. She claimed she had been kidnapped (by someone she knew), raped, and left to die.

Cops later determined she had lied and set it up herself to get some random person in trouble.

Fast forward a few years and lots of random issues later (which I only kept up with when my brother would text me highlights) she ends up missing. At first people don’t think much of it, but months go by and she still hasn’t turned up.

Almost 2 years after she went missing her body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area. Lots of suspects, but not enough evidence to pin it on any one of them. Even in the small town where public opinion hones in on one or two people, in this case it didn’t.

Many people in the town that were known to be sketchy have been proven to have nothing to do with it.

No one knows what happened to here, or how long she was dead for. Police haven’t released all the details as the killer is the only one to know some of them.

I have my guess. But who the hell knows.” — swanyMcswan


“A girl I went to high school (and middle and elementary, classic New England town) with was murdered in college. The couple who killed her were convicted, but since they threw her body in the ocean right before a big storm, her remains have never been found. I’m just glad those fuckers got convicted. They figured out who she had been with last when she disappeared pretty quick due to cell phone texts I think. The girlfriend then flipped on the boyfriend and ratted him out. I read her testimony once a few years ago. Never again. I think they were trying to trick her into something sexual under the rouse of just hanging out, and then when she didn’t want to do stuff with them he strangled her. The press marketed it as a sexual threesome gone wrong. But that’s not what happened and I don’t want to remember her like that. She was super sweet. We sat next to each other on the bus in elementary school and she won prom queen in hs, she made her own prom dress, really deserved it. She wasn’t very popular or anything, she was just super sweet, kind, and a bit shy. RIP Lizzie.” — RoseScarlet