Like many others, I enjoy a good mystery. Stories where you need to know what happens next. Tales that pique your curiosity and keep you turning the page to get to the end.
Over the years, I’ve found missing people intriguing. Why did they disappear in the first place? Was it an accident or something more sinister? Is there a happy ending or does it end in tragedy? Also, just as importantly, how does it affect those left behind?
Before I thought about becoming a published author, many of the stories I’d written over the years involved the mysterious mystery of missing people.
Did you know there are 300,000 people reported missing each year? That works out at almost 900 a day.
The first high profile case I recall was that of Lord Lucan in 1974. His wife claimed her husband had attacked her, and murdered their nanny. The police investigated, but Lord Lucan was never found and to this day it remains a mystery. You can read the full story here.
Journalist Amelia Hill wrote a fascinating article in the Guardian in 2012 about a girl who became pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to know and her parents told her to get an abortion. She felt she had no option but to run away. She had her baby, but says her life had been a lie ever since.
As part of my research I went onto the missing person’s website. There were many stories about people who had disappeared, and those left behind. One mum showed the bedroom of her son left just as it was in 2006 when he disappeared. The torment she must live with wondering whether he is still alive is hard to imagine.
Another high profile case was that of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1985. An attractive young woman who had penciled in her diary she was meeting a Mr Kipper. She was never seen again, her remains never found, and they didn’t traced Mr Kipper. As a result estate agents changed the way they worked and Suzy’s mother founded a Trust in the name of her daughter dealing with personal safety.
Not all cases are as high profile, and in 2012 an appeal was launched for a missing woman who had not long given birth. She was already suffering from anxiety and depression. It could have gone either way and for a few days, everyone lived in hope until they found her body.
Madeline McCann is one of the most famous and still talked about cases. In 2007, the four-year-old girl was abducted while on holiday with her family. She was a beautiful little thing with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She captured everyone’s hearts. Despite a massive investigation and search. The police had no viable leads and no trace of her was ever found. It’s a tragedy and like many others, we all hope one day the truth will emerge.
There are many more stories with no conclusions offered and it’s frustrating not to have an end. I’ve always wondered what makes people want to disappear in the first place. What are their stories?
One day watching a television programme that searches for missing people, it gave me an an idea for a story. What if you were the missing person, and suddenly your face appeared on screen? The secret you had been trying to keep was now out
Finding Amanda tells the story of Amanda, who had problems with her brothers at home. She takes off to Scotland and creates a new life for herself. When she and her boyfriend are watching television, her face comes on screen as a missing person.
The people left behind don’t always know the reasons their loved ones leave. It affects them in difference ways and many suffer for years. So in this story, I’ve included the bewildered family and how they coped with her disappearance.
As mentioned before, some stories do not have ending and we are not always given that neatly wrapped up conclusion. With Found! I wanted to round it up and conclude it, so get your tissues ready for an sweet ending!