Adults Who Disappear
Adults Who Disappear
  • Shin Hye-bin
  • 승인 2022.11.22 16:41
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(Provided by Unsplash)
(Provided by Unsplash)

  Recently, an adult disappearance case occurred in Korea. In July, police investigated a 20-year-old female worker who was missing for a week near the Seoul Gayang subway station. Later, on August 7, a male went missing at Gayang Station. He has been unaccounted for since he was last seen on CCTV walking to Gayang Bridge. A few months later, the body found on a mud flat in Incheon was identified as the missing man.
  Also, the United States has recently experienced an adult disappearance. According to NBC News, on October 22, four adult bicycle riders in Oklahoma went missing. Later, police said they found four mutilated male bodies by the river.
  In Korea, 66,259 missing adults were reported to the police in 2021. Of these, 931 adults were not found. Adult missing persons are about three times less likely to be reported than children, with 12 times more undiscovered cases. There are so many cases of adult disappearance because people over the age of 18 have the right to self-determination. Therefore, in the case of an adult without medical history, personal location information used without consent can be considered an invasion of privacy.
  Currently, in Korea, ‘The Act on the Protection and Support of Missing Children’ has regulations and measures for the disappearances of children, intellectually disabled people, and dementia patients. However, the part about missing adults is said to be in a legal void because there is no relevant guidance.
  Adult disappearances are rising, but experts say there is no legal way to prevent them. A police official said, “Adults run away from home on their own due to personal circumstances.” Police also replied, “In special cases, by adding a proviso clause to the disappearance law, an active investigation should be made when an adult is reported missing.” However, the state cannot use limited social resources for missing adults.
  In addition, Seo Gi-won, a representative for finding missing children, said, “At the same time as the Act on Adult Disappearance is enacted, a dedicated investigation team should be established. Of course, there is  a long-term disappearance investigation team in the police. But when a disappearance case actually occurs, there must be a missing investigation team that can investigate while taking charge of the current case and long-term case.”

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