And sadly, most bodies that are found are of people that have been reported missing, sometimes decades ago.
The U.S. has an estimated 18,000 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Less than 7% have special units for solving cold cases or scrubbing the internet for evidence. And too often police forces lack the resources and time to solve old cases.
Web sleuths can help solve unsolved cases. And sometimes in a missing person case, a viral post or two can put more eyes on the situation.
Web Sleuthing: Gabby Petito and Abraham Shakespeare
Last year in the Gabby Petito case videos on TikTok tagged with #GabbyPetito were viewed over 900 million times.
As the missing person case of Gabby Petito went viral, a YouTuber and fellow “van lifer,” Jenn Bethune, realized that she and her husband Kyle had been in the same area when Gabby went missing.
After searching through their videos, they found images of the white van that Brian Laundrie had taken home. The couple informed the FBI and uploaded the video to social media.