During 2010, 692,944 missing person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 3.7 percent from the 719,558 records entered in 2009. Missing person records cleared or canceled during the same period totaled 703,316. Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject; the individual returned home; or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record was invalid.The NCIC database includes an optional designation called "Missing Persons Circumstances" or MPC. I find it interesting that in 2010, of those persons reported missing, 96% were coded as Runaway, while only 2.2% were categorized as Adult-Federally Required Entry. Only 0.1% or 367 total cases were categorized as Abducted by Stranger.
Many missing persons sites quote the larger gross numbers in the range of 700,000 to 800,000 missing person reports per year. However, the vast majority of these are cleared very quickly. This accounts for the high turnover rate in the statistics. So in 2010 there were 692,944 new cases but 703,316 cases were closed during the year (whether from 2010 or prior years).
It looks to me like the number of unsolved missing persons cases on the NCIC database floats at around 80-90,000 at any given time (85,820 at the end of 2010).
While missing family members of any type can be emotionally devastating for the remaining family, this blog will focus on adult missing persons where violent crime is suspected, a decidedly small minority of the total.