After Women’s Killings, Cleveland Reconsiders Missing Person Cases


As authorities continue their investigation into Anthony Sowell, the man suspected of killing 11 women, Cleveland’s leaders, its police, and the community are debating the best way to find the missing, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. As officials begin to think about how to improve the system, they will have to first understand the people who make up the lost. Each day in the city, up to 10 people are reported missing. The Plain Dealer analyzed 7,474 reports of missing people over nearly three years.

About 75 percent of the people reported missing are black; half are women. Most — about 80 percent — are children. Very few of these cases are kidnappings. Most are teenagers who don’t come home when they are told to or who sneak out when nobody is watching. One in five of the reports for a missing adult mentions drug use. A third of the adults reported missing had criminal records. All of the women whose bodies were found in Sowell’s house met both of these criteria.

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