Number of missing persons cases down in pandemic year

by Deborah Cater
Missing persons figures drop sharply
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In 2020, the number of missing persons reports in Spain decreased by 38% compared to the previous year. In more than half of the cases, it concerns underage boys with Spanish nationality.

The Annual Report of the Spanish National Center for Missing Affairs (CNDES), reported the figures last Tuesday on the ‘Day of Missing Persons for No Identifiable Cause’.

Profile of those missing

In 2020, 16,528 cases were registered. 92% of those were resolved in the same year. 67% were resolved within two weeks of the disappearance. The report is the first to sketch a profile of the people who are reported missing. In 63% of the cases, it concerns a Spanish boy between 13 and 17 years old.

Lowest number of registrations in past ten years

The report establishes a clear connection between the relatively low number of missing persons in the period March to June, and the state of emergency in force during those months. This is the lowest number of reports registered in the last ten years in the System for Missing Persons and Human Rests without Identification (PDyRH). In the month of April, the number of registrations was 80% lower than in April 2019.

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Most disappearances are voluntary

Among the persons reported missing last year, there were 107 different nationalities, though 68% had Spanish nationality. 89% of all cases were voluntary disappearances.

Since registrations started in the PDyRH in June 2009, there were reports of 219,425 missing persons to the end of 2020. Of these, 4,685 cases remain unsolved. That is 15% less compared to the year before. At the time there were 5,529 unsolved missing persons cases. Experts from the CNDES assume that 76% of the current unresolved cases are voluntary disappearances.

In the PDyRH, a total of 664 cases were registered of persons with Spanish nationality who disappeared outside Spain. Of these, 106 cases remain unsolved. Most of the Spaniards reported missing abroad, disappeared in France.

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