The mother, brother and sister of a man who disappeared from a Werdohl senior citizens’ facility back in mid-December are saddened: they firmly believe that their alcoholic and mentally impaired relative is dead.
However, the family wonders, Why the man reported missing to the police was not searched for with helicopters or sniffer dogs, for example.
For reasons of the protection of the personality rights of the missing person only few references may be given here, under which circumstances the man disappeared. While the mother in the well-known Facebook group “Speed cameras, traffic and more in the Markischer Kreis” with a photo and mentioning his real name is looking for her son, the Police did not issue a public missing person report.
Disappeared from a senior facility
The man who has not yet reached the age of 40. The young woman, who has reached the age of 18, disappeared from one of Werdohl’s retirement facilities in mid-December. Like many residents, he was not restricted in his liberties, so was allowed to move freely. During his stay at the Werdohl facility, the man was frequently seen in the city. Originally he came from another city in the Markischer Kreis, but basically had no fixed abode. This is what his mother and brother say.
The two are in any case surprised that they have Were informed by the police only two days after the disappearance of their son and brother. Due to his severe alcoholism and his way of life, he had also had a legal guardian, a so-called professional guardian, for a long time.
Seeking placement in a closed facility
This caregiver had only recently sought to place his client in a closed facility. In a letter he stated that the accommodation was necessary, because the man was self-endangering and could cause considerable health damage to himself.
When and by what means is a person searched for??
Police press spokesman Christoph Huls says nothing about the specific case of the man who disappeared in mid-December from a Werdohl senior citizens facility for reasons of personal protection. His explanations, how the police deals generally with missing person reports, were generally valid and not referred to the concrete case.
Every case of a missing person’s report is taken very seriously by the police, the disappearance of people is always dramatic for the relatives. How the missing person is searched for, however, is a matter of consideration. Two criteria are paramount: the protection of personal rights and the determination of whether there is an acute danger to life and limb of the missing person or to other people.
He said that every adult has the right to live the way he or she wants to live. Every adult can simply disappear and has the right to stay undetected in a place of his or her own choosing. Searching relatives would not be informed, for example, if the police found the missing person who did not want his relatives to know.
In many cases it is forbidden for reasons of the personality right to search publicly with photo and name for the person. In other cases, on the other hand, it is necessary to search for people immediately with a team of hundreds, sniffer dogs and helicopters, in order to counteract an immediate danger to life. All police search measures would also have to be adapted to the individual situation.
Huls emphasized that in the search for missing persons, each case is assessed individually, but action is always taken immediately. In addition, there are police search measures that are not openly communicated.
The mother reports similar: Their son had been addicted to alcohol and had often enough been picked up from the street by the police in earlier places and later also in Werdohl. The man had been destitute except for minimal pocket money. He always converted the small amounts of money given to him into alcohol.
Circumstantial evidence and reports from witnesses
Mother, brother and professional guardian had inquired with the police on Christmas, thus scarcely two weeks after the disappearance of the man. There was circumstantial evidence from which it was believed where the wanted man could be found. These indications had been investigated, they said it with the police, there had been also reports of witnesses, who meant to have seen the missing one. The mother: „Many knew my son in Werdohl by sight.“ Before his stay in a Werdohl senior citizens’ facility, the wanted person had stayed with an acquaintance in the city on the Lenne and Verse rivers.
The older brother lives in another town in the Markischer Kreis and personally went in search of him. He rattled off gas stations, stores and establishments in the pedestrian zone of Werdohl. He had regularly visited his brother in the senior citizens’ facility. Both had a good relationship, that can be seen at least on photos.
No ID and cell phone
The family also searched in another town in the district where the missing man had stayed before coming to Werdohl. There he was personally known to Alcoholics Anonymous for a long period of time.
The disappeared man often lived outside, never carried any identification and refused to take a cell phone with him. The brother had given him a cell phone, but he had thrown it away and swallowed the sim card. From the home he had left only very lightly dressed, The brother had found his jacket in the vicinity of the facility.
Personal rights must be respected
Despite all the circumstances, it is important to preserve the personal rights of the man in the public eye. Since the man has not been deprived of his liberties, he is allowed to go wherever he wants to go. Since he was not carrying a cell phone, police said in a response to the family, a technical search for the missing person does not make sense.
Missing persons cases: decreasing case numbers
Police spokesman Huls informed that the number of missing persons cases in the Markischer Kreis has decreased in the Corona years. In 2019, there were 693 missing persons cases, in purely mathematical terms almost two per day. In 2020 there were 574 and in 2021 the number dropped to 445. The numbers showed that missing persons cases are not a side business of the police, but daily practice. Many cases are resolved quickly, but there are also a number of long-term missing persons.
The family, however, cannot understand why the search for the missing man did not start at the beginning with great effort. Just in the time around the turn of the year she had read of many public missing person searches in the Lenne valley. Missing persons, even in the similar age as their relative, had been searched for with helicopters, police dogs and many task forces.
Private publication is shared many times
The private publication of the search in the group “Speed cameras, traffic and more in the Markischer Kreis”, Has been shared by members several hundred times. The family has now given up hope: “We assume that he is dead.“ The mother had already lost a son to alcohol years ago.