Patrick Kenney, 23, of Pittsburgh, who had been laid off from his pipe-fitting job, told his mom he had to “take care of something” before leaving home on Feb. 1. He hasn’t been seen since, and his car was found abandoned two weeks later, says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Last year, about 1,900 people were reported missing to the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police. Many cases can be solved within hours, when a person reported missing reappears. But the remainder, adults who seemingly disappear, can often elude detection.
Unlike Georgia’s “runaway bride” case, Patrick Kenney’s disappearance has had no publicity until now. For the thousands of family and friends of adults reported missing each year, the pain of simply not knowing what happened to their loved ones can prove overwhelmingly painful. For police, distinguishing cases of foul play from those adults who simply do not want to be found can prove complicated. “First we try to establish, did the person walk away and try not to be found?” said Crysten Zett, a detective at the city police’s missing persons division. “If you’re an adult and you decide that you’re going to go to Las Vegas for the weekend and you don’t want to tell anyone, you’re allowed.”