I've often wondered, how can people just simply disappear? We all know that people can and do seem to just disappear, from Natalie Holloway on the beach in Aruba, or Tara Grinstead in a small town Georgia, and most recently the baffling disappearance of Madeline McCann during a vacation trip to Portugal. ( Her parents, the McCanns are from the United Kingdom)
It is even more disturbing when we realize that many people who have disappeared had a lot going on in their lives, thus making a sudden and voluntary exit from their normal routines and relationships seem so unlikely, and so bewildering.
Is it possible for people to simply vanish? (In the television drama, Without a Trace, they always find the missing person, either dead or alive and there is always a reason or motive as to why the missing person left everyone and everything behind.)
Every missing person leaves a trail of personal history. There is not only physical evidence, but a social history and a psychological history to be investigated. Every human relationship leaves a "tattoo" of sorts imprinted on those they have touched or interacted with. This is to be researched and analyzed, and where the "answers" often can be found. I don't think people simply disappear into thin air. It may appear as if they do, but in reality someone out there knows something. It's just a matter of getting them to open up and tell what they know and we all know how difficult that can be in some of these missing persons cases, sadly enough.
Good investigative techniques must be used here. Modern day technology often clarifies cases of disappearances. Credit card transactions leave a paper trail behind, dittos for computer or internet online activities such as e-mail, or web-surfing. Cellular telephone calls can be revealing to investigators who can often determine who last spoke with the missing person. Cellular telephones also have built-in GPS technology that can help pinpoint the exact location of the cellular telephone user (the missing person.)
There are some so called "social networks" that are often used by criminals to entrap unsophisticated or careless victims. The evildoer can easily hide by using phony names, bogus addresses, and fake photos. Sadly this new area of technology is one of the new frontiers of disappearances, murders, rapes, beatings, abductions et cetera. Some minds are like concrete throughly mixed up and permanently set.
A good investigator, can "connect the dots," if he or she has excellent psychological insights, is a good observer, and has a solid grasp of what motivates people. We know that in every crime or suicide there is a motive, whether rational or not. To me, it's not really possible for someone to just vanish. Once we remove the improbable or unlikely scenarios of a disappearance, we can get that much closer to the truth.