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  1. First, this isn't meant to come across as a finger-wagging post. It'll seem that way to some people, I suppose, but that's not the intention. I look at searches as broken down into two types when it comes to amateur and unorganized search efforts - hot and cold. Cold searches are ones where a person has been missing for 6+ months, professional efforts have been suspended, and there is no active search planned or ongoing. Hot searches are ones < 6 months old, and usually < 2 weeks old. Those often have ongoing efforts by law enforcement and SAR, may involve related criminal or civil investigations, and often have significant resources dedicated to them. As far as cold searches go, have fun and don't get lost/hurt. As far as hot searches go, please don't get in the way. If you have information, however thin, contact the LE agency overseeing the efforts and share what you know. If you have photos, videos, or other evidence of the missing subject, please present it as clearly and concisely to LE as possible. Unless you know an area intimately (hike/hunt there regularly, know the trails and terrain, etc.), please don't offer speculation unless asked. It's very distracting to be receiving facts and speculative information in the same sentence. Please don't go out and start looking, alone or with others, if you're not sworn LE/SAR. Even then, no sworn LE/SAR members would go out there and search without authorization up the chain of command. You'd be amazed at how much evidence is often destroyed by well-meaning parties out there looking for a lost subject. Most of the time footprints are obliterated, but sometimes personal effects are picked up and removed. Even if those are later handed over to LE, if you can't tell us EXACTLY where you found the item/evidence, it's condition at the time (wet, dry, torn, dirty, dusty, clean, inside out, etc.), you've just ruined what may have been a significant find. If you do find something, take a picture (geotagging is great), take GPS coordinates (lat/lon are fine, but UTM is king IMO), note the date, time, and circumstances (was it windy? did the item seem dry, despite a recent rain event?) I know people want to help, and I don't take that lightly. I also know that I've trained with my colleagues for countless hours , day and night, for years now, to properly conduct searches, handle evidence, direct teams and resources, and to generally carry out a proper search. When untrained people get in the way of a hot search, it causes problems. Often, folks are nice and understanding and immediately leave the area when we ask them to leave. The whole reason I'm part of SAR is because I want to do my small part for the community, and I know lots of people feel that way as well. Rarely (though it happens) people get belligerent and threatening. The last thing anyone on a SAR team wants to do mid-search is detain you and wait for a deputy to drag you away. That cuts into our search time and really screws up the folks in ops and plans. And, if I have to be the one to hike you back to CP and *then* hand you over to a deputy, things are going to be really unpleasant. In the least, you'll get charged with a misdemeanor, and if it's a search related to possible criminal activity, you're talking a felony (not my call, and in the end, you can deal with the DA and the judge). What's worse is when random people wander out to search, get hurt/lost and then become a second incident we need to deal with. Resources are already stretched thin, and yes, we'll help you, but now the primary objective is receiving less attention. That's a Very Bad Thing. It's bad enough when someone on a SAR team gets hurt and we have an IWI to deal with - that usually throws everything into (more) chaos. Re-reading this, I know it sounds elitist and harsh. SAR isn't an 'elite' bunch - we've got folks from all walks of life, young and old, dot-commers and contractors, retired Marines and overworked attorneys. The big thing that sets us apart is lots and lots and lots of constant training. If you really, really want to be involved, contact your local Sheriff's SAR unit and apply. If anyone has questions about SAR and what it's like, feel free to ask or send a PM. Teams can always use new volunteers, and skills are always in demand. While each SAR team is different in some ways, the generalities outweigh the distinctions.
  2. An interesting case from the White Mountains in Arizona. I have heard rumors about what may have happened but as of right now it is still unsolved. http://charleyproject.org/case/june-goodman
  3. Many of you probably remember the bizarre case of Macin Smith. We covered his story in a YouTube video until Macin's family sent us a cease and desist letter and threatened legal action for using photos of him. In addition, Macin's uncle had published a bizarre YouTube ranting and raving about our video (it has since been deleted). He was especially peeved that I wore a crop top in the video and @EWU Bob wore sunglasses. OUR VIDEO IS UNLISTED, BUT YOU CAN STILL WATCH IT HERE: https://youtu.be/lR027sCoAQo For those who need a quick recap regarding Macin's case, Macin was 17 years old when he somehow vanished from his home without a trace. He had no driver's license, no car, no mode of transportation, yet he disappeared completely and remains a missing person to this day. While coming home from school the day before he disappeared, he texted his mom a screenshot of his good grades and asked if they were good enough to watch anime. Macin and his mother had an agreement that if he pulled his grades up, he would be able to stay up later and watch anime. However, Macin's dad had just arrived home after being gone at a construction job the entire summer. It seems that Macin's dad was more strict than Macin's mother, and he wanted Macin to go practice driving with him that night. His return seemed to shift the family dynamic. ACTUAL TEXT MESSAGE Macin's mother texted him back that he would need to go driving with his father first. ACTUAL TEXT MESSAGE According to his family, Macin was afraid of driving. He had struggled with social anxiety after being bullied in middle school in Canada, and they had just moved to St. George. That night, he said he wasn't feeling well and went to bed early, seemingly to avoid driving with his father. It didn't seem that Macin and his mother's agreement was honored. Macin's mother unplugged the internet modem that night because she was "lazy" - she stated that she would usually confiscate the cord and hide it, but she didn't the night before Macin disappeared. This raised a lot of eyebrows, as Macin was 17 years old and this seemed to be quite strict - not to mention the fact that they had an agreement that if Macin pulled his grades up, he could stay up and watch anime. According to family, everyone went to bed. However, later that night, Macin's father stated that he saw a glow under Macin's door. He stated this was at 1:30 AM. Macin had plugged the modem back in and was up on his laptop. Macin's father stated he confiscated all of Macin's electronics - his laptop, his phone, everything. Interestingly enough, Macin had wiped his search history at 12:30 AM - an HOUR before his father stated he confiscated his electronics. The next morning, Macin's mother stated they heard him in the kitchen getting ready for school and they assumed he was leaving for the school bus. He never arrived back home and was never seen again. They waited until 10:30 that night to call police. The police officer told his family he would be out searching for Macin, so they went to bed and did not search for him that night. However, there is conflicting information regarding what happened that morning. According to some articles, Macin's parents didn't see him that morning - they only heard him getting ready in the kitchen. According to others, Macin was last spotted by his mother that morning, and according to even MORE articles, Macin's dad went and knocked on Macin's door that morning to ensure he was awake. https://gephardtdaily.com/local/exclusive-macin-smiths-parents-discuss-year-of-turmoil-father-reveals-he-took-lie-detector-test-after-sons-disappearance/ https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2015/09/04/rsw-missing-macin-smith/#.V8YIDZjR8XY https://www.deseret.com/2019/5/16/20673506/police-focused-missing-utah-teen-case-on-parents#macin-smith His room was searched, and they realized he took NOTHING with him. Of course, since all of his electronics had been confiscated, he hadn't taken his phone or laptop. Six days later after he vanished, Macin's mother claims that she was searching his room again for any clues. She then discovered a multiple page note "hidden" in Macin's wallet. The contents of this note have never been released, but she stated two words that are apparently in the letter: "I'm done". Many have speculated that perhaps Macin was gay and expressed this in his letter, which would explain why his family would refuse to release it. His mother was a member of the LDS Church and his father was agnostic. However, there is no evidence that Macin was gay. Large search crews combed the entire area surrounding Macin's home, but he has never been found. The most recent developments show that police focused the case on the parents. https://www.deseret.com/2019/5/16/20673506/police-focused-missing-utah-teen-case-on-parents#macin-smith What are your theories on what happened to Macin Smith?
  4. On January 11th, 2018, Jerry and Susan McFalls - both 62 years old - completely vanished from their home. On January 11th, 2018, they sent their final text message: "thanks be home Sunday". They were texting family, planning to meet up with them later that week in Utah. They never showed up that weekend. On January 21st, family drove hours to their home in Littlefield, Arizona to make sure everything was alright. What they discovered was bizarre. It appeared that Susan & Jerry had somehow vanished while in the middle of cooking dinner. Music was still playing outside, the TV was left on, and food was left cold on the counter. To make matters even more strange, none of their personal items were missing: their cars were still parked in the driveway. According to Jerry McFalls Junior, "the sheds were open, the door was open, my mom’s purse, wallet, cell phones, computers, everything (were) sitting on the kitchen table." Even their car keys remained in the home. EVERYTHING was left behind. There was no sign of any struggle: everything was in place as it should be, as though they were in the middle of packing up to head to Utah. Even their dogs - that Susan took EVERYWHERE with her - were left behind in their home. According to family, it would have been highly unlikely for Susan & Jerry to have taken off on foot due to their health issues. Soon, the focus began to turn on their neighbor right here: 52-year-old David Myhaver. He had a troubled history with the couple, leading many to become suspicious of his involvement. Just 7 weeks before Susan & Jerry vanished, there was an incident at the property. According to Jerry McFalls Junior: "Neighbor said it was an accident and shot my dad in the stomach with a BB gun," he said. Mohave County Sheriff's Office issued a search warrant on his property, but came back empty handed. In David's own words: "All I can say is B.S., because none of it is factual," Myhaver told KSL by phone Friday night. "My name is being dragged through the freaking gutter." "I never talked with them, never did anything with them, never been over there to visit with them or nothing," Myhaver said. But according to Jerry McFalls Junior: "They tried to stay away from him, they tried to just keep to themselves". We coordinated with the search group back when it was active, and there were many claims of David following them around town and waving at them. They believed he was trying to intimidate them. They believed he would have a clear motive: Susan & Jerry had purchased the property six or seven years before out of bankruptcy. David and his wife Lida had been living in the home at the time of their purchase. Nine months later, there was finally a break in the case. On October 15th, 2018, someone discovered two sets of remains on the Utah-Arizona border. Now, the strange part of this is while one set of remains was quickly identified as being Susan, what is believed to be Jerry's remains STILL has not been positively identified. What happened to Susan & Jerry still remains a complete mystery. Many still believe that their neighbor David Myhaver had something to do with their disappearance, but more recently, some community members have shifted their focus to Susan & Jerry's own family - more specifically, Jerry McFalls Junior and his wife Meridee. We actually met up with Jerry McFalls Junior and Meridee back when the McFalls first vanished, and they had offered to allow us access to the home to livestream and give the case coverage. According to an October 2019 news article: "Several neighbors, including two young children, remember seeing and talking to the McFalls family members while they were driving in a Silver/Gray SUV. The McFalls children claim that a Silver/Gray SUV never existed, raising even more questions from the community." ARTICLE HERE: https://mesquitelocalnews.com/2019/10/16/41965/ What do YOU think happened to the McFalls? FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/McFallsMystery/
  5. On February 1, 1982 Mary Ellen Barker was walking with her formerly estranged husband on the Sacramento River levee near Miller Park. The couple were accosted by three individuals who supposedly bound her husband’s hands. Mary Ellen was shot in the back and murdered. Mary Ellen’s husband fled on foot and got help from a nearby residence. No arrests have been made, and a lot of questions have been left unanswered. After the homicide, the husband’s substance abusing brother mysteriously died from a supposed suicide. Mary Ellen’s husband took the couple’s 18 month old daughter and remarried shortly after. No suspects are known to this day... https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article26481316.html
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