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Millions of people are reported missing every single year and the majority are safely found within 48 hours.
In the UK alone, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds – and unfortunately, not everyone makes it home.
In some cases, remains are found years later while other families live out the rest of their lives never knowing what happened to a loved one.
And then there are the really bizarre mysteries.
The ones who vanished and were presumed dead – only to suddenly appear years later to the astonishment of the families who were left behind.
Below are some of the strangest cases ever recorded.
Fleeing the mob
Arthur Gerald Jones was declared legally dead after he disappeared from Chicago in 1979.
He left behind a heartbroken wife and three children who received a hefty payout in social security benefits after Jones’ presumed death.
But incredibly, he was found over 30 years later, living a new life in Las Vegas.
Cops discovered him working at a casino where he was using a fake name.
It was rumoured that Jones had spent his time fleeing from the mob after getting into gambling debts.
Britain’s most bizarre missing person’s case involved soldier Philip Sessarego.
His family learnt of his supposed death after a car bomb in Croatia in 1991, where Sessarego was serving.
He was only 39 and for the next 10 years he was presumed dead.
However, the SAS fantasist suddenly appeared on the BBC in 2001 – to the astonishment of his family.
The hoaxer was posing as author and SAS man Tom Carew and was speaking about his book Jihad! The Secret War in Afghanistan.
He was found dead for real in January 2009 and it was ruled as a suicide.
Son snatched from mum – by his own dad
Con man Bobby Hernandez kidnapped his five-year-old son, Julian, and gave him a new identity.
He later told his boy that he was abandoned by his mother, despite it being a lie.
The shock discovery was made when Julian was trying to apply to college, only for a social security number discrepancy to be identified.
A counsellor then found that Julian was actually listed as missing from Alabama by the authorities.
His mother had never stopped searching for her boy and she spent 13 agonising years not knowing where he was.
Bobby was sentenced to four years in prison for kidnapping but Julian told the court he forgave his father for what he did.
Evil Phillip and Nancy Garrido snatched Jaycee Dugard when she was walking to a bus stop aged 11.
The terrified little girl was then kept prisoner in a shed in the married couple’s back garden in California for 18 years.
She was repeatedly raped by Garrido and was forced to conceive two of his babies.
Jaycee was discovered in 2009 aged 29 when Garrido turned up to a parole meeting with her and their two daughters.
Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison while Nancy was sentenced to 36 years to life after they faced false imprisonment and rape charges.
Killed by a serial killer?
Harold Wayne Lovell was feared dead when he vanished after cleaning John Wayne Gacy’s swimming pool in 1977.
Amateur clown Gacy was one of America’s most notorious serial killers after murdering 33 men in the 1970s.
And the sociopath even told cops Lovell was one of his victims after he was reported missing.
But shockingly, 34 years later, Lovell was found in Florida working odd jobs.
He said he had no idea his family thought he was dead despite not seeing them in so long.
His mother had already died believing her boy had been murdered by the serial killer.
‘I had amnesia’
Winston Bright disappeared in 1990 and 10 years later was declared dead.
His wife, Leslie, collected his $300 per month pension to look after their three kids.
But you guessed it, 20 years later, Bright reappeared.
He was using the name Kwame Seku and claimed he had amnesia.
Kwame then spent six-years in court successfully proving he was actually Winston Bright after former lover Leslie accused him of being a scammer.
He said he desperately tried to find out who he really was after losing his memory and wounding up in California.
Kwame said he finally discovered his true identity after reading his missing person case online.
- Missing Person
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