Missing 411

Missing 411. A message from David Paulides from the CanAm Missing Project:

Several years ago I received information that people were missing from a national park. The informant stated that the staff was giving the disappearances little public exposure and almost no follow-up. This tip led down a path of 3+ years and 7000 hours of research into missing people in rural areas of North America.

Understanding that the National Park Service (NPS) have a large Federal Law Enforcement contingent with Special Agents as detectives, the CanAm Missing Project filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests attempting to obtain information on missing people inside (NPS) management areas. We also filed for information on the numbers of missing inside NPS, locations, dates and times. After several weeks the NPS responded that they DO NOT KEEP track of missing people inside their system, they DO NOT have lists of missing people at headquarters or at the parks, we were dumbfounded and shocked.

Our group consists of veteran law enforcement officers, the assertion that NPS doesn’t keep track of missing people inside their system is mind boggling. Every major law enforcement agency has a website with missing people on their site, NPS does not. Understand, it only takes a clipboard with graphing paper to keep track of missing people in a park, a laptop could track an entire systems missing people.

We inquired about NPS putting a list together for missing people in Yosemite National Park. The NPS stated that they would charge our
group $34,000 to develop and distribute the list to us and $1.4 million for a list of all missing in their system.

One of the members of our group was a former director of a state’s investigative law enforcement bureau, he stated that the NPS is not
that stupid, they must be concealing the information. The result of our work was the finding of 28 clusters of missing people in rural areas across North America, this was an astounding find, and not expected.

Our work is chronicled in “Missing 411-Western U.S.” released 3/1/12 and available at www.canammissing.com. The eastern version of the book will be available on 3/30/12. The book follows 411 people who disappeared, it’s their story.”

A book to watch!


  1. Tom Rasp says:

    One thing I noticed in reading the two Missing 411 books was what was not mentioned, if it was covered I apologize. That is the attention span of a young child. As I watch my 20 month old granddaughter, though a very smart and able walker and climber I noticed that she does not remain focused on any thing more than about 5 minutes at a time. In the case of a small child walking a great distance I believe the attention to this task would come onto play. I believe there would be to many distractions, greatly slowing down their progress.

  2. Excellent point, Tom!

  3. Anto A. A. says:

    I have yet read this book, as I have not been in the USA for the past two years, however, I have listened to coasttocoastam.com daily, since I have been away. I have heard both times that David has been on the show. I may be mistaken here, but I believe I have not heard him discuss one missing person’s case involving two or more individuals at the same time. Are all of the cases of lone persons? Has more than two people ever disappeared under similar unusual circumstances? Thanks!

  4. Excellent question, Anto. I am going to email David! V

  5. some girl says:

    I heard about 300k go missing in England a year


  6. @Anto/Vidocq:

    The question of multiple disappearances is interesting. The reality of two people disappearing together at the same time is rare but we have documented them. We are working on a new theory, two people disappearing days apart in essentially the same location, this is something we didn’t focus on in the past but we are now, these are much more common then we had earlier understood.

    Thanks for the question.

  7. @David: Thanks for answering, David. Stay in touch, V

  8. Yes, that is a lot. Take a look at this 2009 newspaper article: The missing: Each year, 275,000 Britons disappear

    To compare to the USA, this might interest you: Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains: The Nation’s Silent Mass Disaster from the National Institute of Justice.

  9. I don’t understand why the author believes the NPS should keep records that the FBI is in charge of. They are not investigators, they are administrators of parks. Empty garbage cans and collect entrance fees. They do not keep this stuff, nor should they. I don’t want my tax dollars being wasted on some computer system to track missing persons when that’s what the FBI does.

  10. @ Dave:
    To Dave-July 9 2012-
    The National park Service has a very large contingent of “National Park Police” that patrol their parks, they do not pick up garbage. These are highly trained police officers that have been educated in police practices at the federal law enforcement training center in Virginia. Part of their promotional process is they can become a “Special Agent” in investigations for the park service, these are the detectives that conduct followup investigations at the 380+ locations patrolled by the National Park Police. These officers ARE NOT administrators in parks, they are professional federal police officers and as such have a duty to understand trends, dangers, criminal conduct and missing people issues inside their facilities, this IS THEIR JOB.

    I have stated the following in every interview I’ve been involved, we are not insinuating that NPS implement a massive computer system to track missing people, they already have one, the same one that tracks wanted felons. This is the same system utilized for all police officers in the nation, NCIC. We just want them to start using it!

    At a minimum, the national park service could track people missing inside every park with the use of a clipboard and graph paper. When and where someone goes missing, write it down, keep the clipboard in the office on the wall in the chief investigators office at each park. This isn’t rocket science, this is common sense.

    It may be your opinion, Dave, that missing people is not a high priority issue to you. Until you or your family has been victimized via a missing person, you could never understand the magnitude in which it affect all families, it can be worse than homicide as the families never know what has happened to their loved one.

  11. @David: there is a good chance that some individuals have already started making notes and keeping track of missing people in the parks they serve. Reaching out to retired NPS personnel or, trying to get in touch with individuals might be a way to get more information.