What happens when a person simply vanishes? These famous missing person cold cases offer no clues, no closure. Just an empty space where a person used to be.
In 2011, college student Lauren Spierer disappeared near Indiana University. Despite a nationwide manhunt and the high-profile publicity from Stephen Colbert and Kim Kardashian, among other celebrities, Lauren has never been found.
A private detective hired by her family claims that a group of young men Spierer had been hanging out with the night of her disappearance might have the answer–but they’re not talking.
Back in 1966, three siblings visited the beach near Adelaide, Australia. Jane, Arnna, and Grant never came home, and their family still has no idea what happened to them.
Witnesses reported seeing the children with a blond man who some people believe might have abducted the siblings. Another theory holds that the Beaumonts were washed out to sea and their bodies never found.
Claudia Lawrence, a 35-year-old chef from York, failed to show up for work one day in 2009. She was never seen again. Despite a tireless search, police still don’t know what happened to her.
Her unsolved disappearance led to Parliament passing Claudia’s Law, which allows the families of people who have gone missing to manage their affairs without having their loved ones declared dead.
The most notorious missing person cold case in England–possibly all of Europe–is Madeleine McCann. Just before her 4th birthday, the little girl disappeared from a resort in Portugal while her other siblings slept nearby.
Police, private investigators, and amateur sleuths all have a theory about what might have happened to her. But tragically her disappearance has never been solved. Is it possible that a teenage Maddy is still alive somewhere? Her mother believes so.
In 1988, Tara Calico was a typical teenager. She was out riding a bike one morning and disappeared. Her Walkman (remember, it was the 80s) was later found at a campground almost 20 miles from her home in New Mexico.
Although investigators never found her, a disturbing photograph was found in Florida the following year that showed a young woman resembling Tara bound and gagged on a bed. However, the local sheriff is convinced that Tara was accidentally killed by a classmate who was driving his truck along her bike route. According to the sheriff, the boy and another friend allegedly covered up her death by hiding the body and her bicycle.