This July, Police confirmed that an additional £350,000 has been allocated to continue the search for internationally missing person Madeleine McCann. Only two months earlier, parents Kate and Gerrie released a statement on the Find Madeleine website, marking the 18th birthday of their daughter. Thanking all who continue to send the family positive messages, the statement read: “We hang on to the hope, however small, that we will see Madeleine again. As we have said repeatedly, we need to know what has happened to our lovely daughter, no matter what. We are very grateful to the police for their continued efforts.”
Madeline, Missing Since 2007
More than fourteen years have passed since Madeleine “Maddie” McCann went missing from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz—a resort on the southern coast of Portugal. Madeleine and her siblings were sleeping while her parents dined with friends at a restaurant a couple of blocks away. The adults took turns going to check on the children, and when mother Kate McCann’s turn arrived, she found that her three-year-old daughter had vanished.
A sizeable and costly international missing person search has ensued in the years since Madeleine’s disappearance involving efforts from a number of European authorities spread across several countries. Speculation swirled around the case as police searched for a man seen carrying a child near the apartment—only to discover it was a false lead—and Portuguese police admitted that vital forensic clues may have been lost due to procedural failings at the scene of the disappearance. The missing girl’s parents were briefly named as suspects in the case, although their “arguido” status was lifted in 2008.
The Continuation of Operation Grange
In 2011, the UK Government launched Operation Grange in an effort to try to bring closure to the case. Two years later, British detectives announced that they had identified 41 potential suspects in the international missing person case, triggering the Portuguese police to reopen their investigation. The following year, in 2014, detectives travelled from England to Portugal to continue the search amid rumours of planned arrests, however no new developments were revealed.
Another “significant line of inquiry” was reported to have emerged in 2017, however no results were yielded. Authorities shared that Operation Grange had so far cost British taxpayers £12.5million. Three years later, in June of 2020—following yet another extension of funding—police identified convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner as a suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann. The 43-year-old German native is currently serving a sentence in his home country for drug related charges.
Those Hunting for Madeleine Hold Onto Hope
In what many consider to be the most widely known international missing person search of all time, rumours continue to cause confusion. Last year, Kate and Gerrie McCann issued a statement to address reports that the German authorities had informed them of proof that Madeleine was deceased. News of a letter containing such information turned out to be false, and the parents shared with their online following that the circulation of such misinformation had “caused unnecessary anxiety to friends and family and once again disrupted our lives.”
While the emergence of a new suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann is yet to provide clear answers to all who are closely following the case, an air of hope remains, and the international outpouring of public support for the McCann family continues to remind of humanity’s capacity for compassion—even in the face of such a terrible loss. Thomas Lauth and his team at Missing Persons Investigations Worldwide strive to bring you the latest insight on people missing abroad, as well as providing guidance on what to do when your loved one goes missing overseas. As an expert in missing children and adults worldwide, international private investigator Thomas Lauth offers assistance to those urgently looking for much needed answers. If you require support in locating a missing person, contact our team today.
While few internationally missing person cases remain fresh within the collective consciousness over the course of decades, the case of Amelia Earhart continues to captivate and mystify new minds as each year passes. Earhart was a pioneer of aviation and an inspiration to countless women of her generation. Her disappearance on July 2nd 1937, alongside her navigator Fred Noonan, has never been explained. Here, we will explore what still makes Earhart such a compelling character, and the circumstances that led up to her vanishing.
The Courage and Conviction of Amelia Earhart
Kansas native Amelia Earhart was working as a nurse’s aide near Toronto during World War I when she first fell in love with airplanes. After volunteering during the 1918 flu pandemic, Earhart moved to California and began taking flying lessons. By 1922, her accomplishments had already earned her a women’s altitude record of 14,000 feet and the epithet aviatrix. Earhart studied health and medicine at Columbia University and worked as a social worker in Boston—all the while continuing her flight training, doing aerial stunts for charity, and becoming the only female member of her local pilots association.
Following Charles Lindbergh’s successful solo flight across the Atlantic, Earhart became the first woman to complete the feat in 1928. Now notorious for her skill in the skies, Earhart began writing and lecturing on her adventures, and even launched her own fashion line. Engaging in shaping women’s career paths at Purdue University, Earhart inspired many female students to take a bold leap away from studying home economics and into the fields of engineering and economics.
A Fateful Final Journey
Having enthralled the world with all sorts of aerial pursuits, in 1937 at the tender age of 39 Earhart announced that she would undertake one final voyage before retiring from flying. Never one to be unambitious, her vision was to circumnavigate the globe in its entirety. Recruiting the assistance of navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart took off on June 1st 1937. Over the course of the next month, she and Noonan successfully reported their progress to the U.S. Media. However, on July 2nd, all contact ceased. Estimations of their progress placed the daring duo above the central Pacific Ocean at the time of the disappearance.
The U.S. Navy soon began a search of unprecedented scale, recruiting several ships and a substantial fleet of airplanes—reported running up costs of as much as $250,000 a day. Finally, while the Coast Guard continued to complain of hoax radio reports, the chances of finding Earhart and her navigator were deemed one in a million. As the official search drew to a close, conspiracy theories began to spring up, including accusations that Earhart had been kidnapped by the Japanese, or that she had gone undercover on a spy mission for President Roosevelt.
Continuing Interest in the Amelia Earhart Case
While Earhart was declared legally dead on January 5th 1939, investigations into her mysterious disappearance are periodically reawakened. In 1991 the FBI reported an aluminum map case found on an atoll 420 miles southeast of Howland Island, considered to be a possible clue. If the map case were indeed Earhart and Noonan’s, extreme temperatures and a lack of fresh water would have likely sealed the adventurers’ fates.
In 2009 a robotic search of the ocean floor was undertaken, and in 2018, a further expedition to the area was launched following the discovery of human remains—however no conclusive evidence pointing to Earhart was uncovered. While a photograph was thought to have identified Earhart and Noonan alive and well on Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the image was later found to have been two years too old to have captured the pair. A 1989 article in TIME magazine declared that Earhart had “vanished into legend”, and for now at least this appears to be true. However, among the many who continue to discover the story of Amelia Earhart, it seems that hope remains alive. Thomas Lauth and his team at Missing Persons Investigations Worldwide offer the highest caliber of assistance to those with a loved one missing overseas. They also aim to elevate global awareness of people missing abroad, while sharing their insights as experts in recovering missing children and adults. If you require support from international private investigator Thomas Lauth in locating a missing person, contact his team today.
More than 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year. Across all 50 states, across all age groups, no family is immune from their loved one going missing. While many of the missing people who are reported missing each year are eventually reported as safe, this epidemic of missing person cases can easily overwhelm the investigating jurisdiction, either due to lack of resources or lack of experience in missing person investigations. Regardless of the circumstances, when your loved one goes missing, hiring a missing person investigator to conduct a concurrent investigation with any official police investigation to ensure that important leads are not neglected or ignored.
Private investigators are often the intelligence professionals that families of missing persons select for consultation on their loved one’s case or to conduct an independent investigation. Many licensed private investigations have former investigative experience, either with law enforcement or in the practice of law. These professionals are able to apply official methodology used in official investigations without the bureaucratic red tape that can often hamper investigations by law enforcement. As long as the private investigator is licensed in the state in question, there is no barrier that would prevent them from following leads in the case out of state or even out of the country.
Private investigators who offer missing person location services may be able to find your missing loved one faster than local law enforcement. As stated previously, there may be resource or experience roadblocks that can prevent local law enforcement from making case progress, and unfortunately, this can lead to the case going cold very quickly. In a missing person investigation, the first 72 hours are the most important, because after that window has expired, crucial evidence can be lost, relevant witnesses can disappear, and otherwise hot leads may dry up entirely before local law enforcement has had a chance to investigate. As missing person investigators, private investigators do not have to wait to clear bureaucratic red tape, or adhere to jurisdictional issues that would otherwise prevent them from investigating. A private investigator may also have an edge over law enforcement when it comes to the cooperation of witnesses. It’s not uncommon in missing person cases for relevant witnesses to be reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement, typically out of fear of repercussions on behalf of the law. They claim to be ignorant of any information on the missing person in order to distance themselves from the situation and protect themselves from prosecution. Because they have no powers of arrest, relevant witnesses may be more likely to open up to private investigators. This leads to case progression that gets the missing person’s family that much closer to crucial context in their loved one’s disappearance.
Hiring a missing person investigator can give your family the investigative edge needed in finding your missing loved one. That is because a private investigator’s first loyalty is to their client, and not to any preservation of the law. The key to getting both local investigators and private investigators on the trail for a missing person is getting any and all information into the hands of those investigators so they can immediately start developing a plan for recovery. In the same vein as relevant witnesses, the family may hold back information that could be relevant to the investigation on the basis that they do not believe it’s relevant, because it’s embarrassing, or because they are also fearing repercussions at the behest of law enforcement or the legal system. Hiring a missing person investigator who is independent of the justice system can be the answer. If your family is in need of answers in a missing person case, please consider the location services of Lauth Investigations International. Our CEO, Thomas Lauth, is one of the nation’s leading experts in missing children and adults. Our team of investigators is staffed by former military and law enforcement personnel, and we carry a glowing A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 317-951-1100 today for a free quote on our services, or visit us online at www.lauthmissinstg.wpengine.com
Revealed: The Hidden Methods Private Investigators Use to Find Missing Persons
The true crime world is fascinated by tales of missing persons. Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are always adding new documentaries and series about missing persons, which often detail the sophisticated methods that law enforcement uses to find missing persons. However, when law enforcement cannot close a missing person case, families will turn to the expertise of a private investigator to find a missing person—but without the resources and support of a law enforcement agency, how does a private investigator find a missing person?
Although private investigators do not have access to the same level of informational resources as law enforcement, they still have tools at their disposal to help find a missing person. Through their licensure by the state, private investigators have access to verified databases that allow them to conduct background checks on subjects in a case. When trying to find a missing person, these databases can be used to develop leads, find a subject’s last known address, look up criminal histories, and so much more.
Private investigators typically have diverse and comprehensive experience in surveillance operations. Surveillance is one of the covert ways that private investigators can find a missing person. Surveillance operations are a great way for private investigators to collect data, develop leads, and document the unseen factors in a missing person case. For example, when trying to find a missing person in a sex trafficking ring, private investigators may set up surveillance equipment around a suspected hub of operations in order to develop a concrete plan for recovery. Such recordings and pictures can also be used in criminal and civil court.
When trying to find a missing person, one of a private investigator’s best tools is their ability to identify potential witnesses and develop a rapport with them in order to extract information. This can be done overtly or covertly. Sometimes investigators attempt to develop a personal relationship with witnesses in order to extract information from them without suspicion. Within reason, investigators may also wear disguises and present alternative pretenses for speaking with the witness. Whatever the circumstances of the case demands, investigators have the ability to develop leads and corroborate previously received testimony regarding the relevant facts in the case.
In some circumstances, it might become necessary for an investigator to develop a ruse or undercover operation in order to find a missing person. Investigators have been known to go undercover as delivery drivers, party patrons, or in extreme circumstances, embedding themselves into criminal enterprise in order to get answers. Investigators can wear covert surveillance equipment on their person, such as hidden cameras and microphones, in order to document relevant facts in the case and use them to develop further leads in recovering or finding the missing person.
Keeping a missing person’s face out in the media is crucial to a continuing a flow of information and leads for investigators. Though it may sound harsh, the public has a very short memory. Cases of missing people, particularly women of color, are forgotten almost as soon as they’re heard. It typically falls to the families of missing persons to conduct missing person awareness campaigns on their own time, relentlessly sharing their picture and story so that it may increase the chances of their loved one being found. Law enforcement does not typically devote sources specifically to awareness campaigns, but private investigators sometimes offer online awareness campaigns as part of their services for finding missing persons. The more time the missing person’s face is in the public eye, the more leads investigators are likely to generate.
The family of Suzanne Morphew has finally seen movement in the case of the missing Colorado mother who disappeared one year ago. Her husband, Barry Morphew, has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the presumed death of Suzanne, authorities announced on Wednesday.
Though Suzanne Morphew’s body has not been found, the affidavit that was the basis for Morphew’s arrest detailed reasons why investigators believe he is responsible for his wife’s disappearance and presumed death. While that affidavit remains under seal, Morphew also exercised his right to remain silent, immediately asking for representation following his arrest. Chaffe County Sheriff, John Spezze, said, “Today is not the day for celebration nor does it mark the end of this investigation. Rather it’s the next step in this very difficult yet very important journey as we seek justice for Suzanne and her family.”
Suzanne Morphew, 49, has been missing for over a year, disappearing on May 10, 2020, Mother’s Day. She was reported missing when a neighbor called 911 to report that Morphew had gone for a bike ride and never returned. In a Facebook video that arched many eyebrows on the internet, Barry Morphew pled with the public for any information leading to her safe return, offering a $200,000 reward. “Now questions asked, however much they want, I will do whatever it takes to get you back,” Morphew said in the video.
When searches by law enforcement of the area where Suzanne went bike-riding turned up nothing, her brother, Andy Moorman, announced in mid-September that he was recruiting and organizing volunteers for his own search efforts. “I need to find her, need to bring her home, give her a proper burial and closure for my family,” he told KMGH-TV. “And that’s my point, I’m not about finding somebody guilty or trying to inflict punishment on anyone. That’s law enforcement’s job.”
Morphew’s arrest is the result of a sprawling effort by law enforcement to find answers in his wife’s disappearance. More than 135 searches have been conducted in the state of Colorado, and investigators interviewed an excess of 400 people across several states. Suzanne was described by Spezze as “a rare find” and someone who was much beloved by those who knew her. She had two daughters at the time of her disappearance.