Here at Underground Mysteries, formed in 2017, formally NeedToID (2005), our goal is to bring to light underrepresented and unreported missing person and unidentified people cases that have gotten little-to-no public recognition.
Believe it or not, many missing are never officially reported missing. Some cases are filed months or even years after a disappearance. Also, some cases that are filed with a police department may not be entered into NamUs. These cases may “fall through the cracks”. There are also many cases that were filed several years ago, but the case files go “missing” themselves, due to changing servers, databases, crashed systems, physically lost files, files that never made it into a database, data entry error, and so forth. There are thousands of unreported missing people (or those with “lost” files) in the USA at any given time.
That is where Underground Mysteries comes into play. This site is not only designed to help authorities search “underground”, or, unreported missing person cases, but also to help find these missing people by multiple measures:
a) helping actively search for your loved one by use of paper trails, recreating a timeline, and searching public records / background reports / etc;
b) doing a very detailed write-up (news publication) on your loved one’s disappearance by collecting information, which is updated often;
c) video or audio podcast or poster creation for your loved one’s case;
d) social awareness (story circulation), including interaction with family members, friends, possibly old colleagues, and so forth;
e) law enforcement liaison (to help get your case into the government systems, and to help get a detective assigned to your case; and
f) forensic DNA setup and analysis, in which we setup DNA to be sent to the CODIS system and encourage a private DNA test to then extract its raw data and to upload to Gedmatch. With this DNA we then see if not only the person is a match, but we also see if maybe he or she had a child or grandchild in the system. We also build an extensive family tree. The reason for this is because– even with DNA– sometimes John and Jane Doe’s can take a while to be identified. This means they can sit in Gedmatch for months or years. Having a family tree can help speed up the process, in some instances. Because I have my own forensic genealogy company along with this (Doe Naming), I am associated with other forensic genealogy companies, and I keep up with their current cases to see if any are fitting.
I take on cases in the USA, northern Mexico, and Canada.
You may be wondering why there is a need for this service. You may even be wondering, “Wait, why are there unreported missing people out there?”
1. – I recently helped solve a 30 year old cold case of a girl who was never reported missing. I also recently helped find a woman who was never reported missing; I found her in Mexico. Many of these people won’t ever be found alive, as unfortunately so many missing people are Jane and John Doe’s, which is why I incorporate my forensic genealogy company alongside. Also, there are thousands of people who are not reported missing… shocking to hear, right? That’s why I started this company. A loved one could sadly sitting in an unmarked grave. The hope is to always find the missing person alive, though. We cover both ends of the spectrum, though.
2.- I actively work on several cases at once. I follow each case with as much time and effort as I can. I don’t just write about them and move on. I update each case and continue networking to bring tips to LE and keep working on their DNA.
3.- There are many unreported missing people. They are not reported because the family may have presumed their loved one ran away or was ignoring them (ie. the Tawni Mazzone case–she was ‘reported’ but there was no official report done by the police, or the Lyle Stevik case– a once-unidentified man whose family didn’t report him missing, or the Mostly Harmless case– a hiker who died while hiking whose family never reported him missing because they presumed he was ignoring them for years, just to name a few). Or, they may not be reported because the family didn’t know what to do. (It happens often.) Or, they may have in fact filed a report, but the report was lost during governmental system purges, or the case “fell through the cracks”. Or, they may not be reported because the family feared retaliation (and this one is a unique, tricky situation). Many people who were reported missing in the 1960’s through the 1980’s did not get the recognition or attention they deserved. Detectives would not take an adult missing person case very seriously at the time; the reason for that is because people are allowed to walk away. Oftentimes, the LE would just not allow a search or even a report, because it was seen as an injustice to the adult who may have just been trying to start anew. But we have to consider the other side: the endangerment. Many of these people are endangered adults. If detectives do not suspect foul play, then there is little reason for them to search. The good news is that sometimes these people really did just walk away and are alive and well. The bad news is that so many of these missing person cases that were filed but not entered into NamUs or CODIS or any governmental-searchable system are actually deceased and DID come into foul play, or had an accident and died unidentified, even though the family may have been told there was not much the LE could do. These cases are now getting new light. Again, to reiterate, many of the cases were also not reported whatsoever. And then there are some cases that were reported to an officer, but a detective was not assigned to the case… thus, in these cases, there may be little-to-no information on the internet of these cases.
I typically only take on cases in which there is little or no information found anywhere on the web or in governmental systems. You may research one of the cases I have worked on and presented and noticed there is tons of info on the web now. That was not the case in the past. The stories I share will gradually make a large web presence because of me gathering the info, circulating the stories, and getting the cases into NamUs and listed on other websites as well as on on my website (http://www.undergroundmysteries.com
), Facebook, and other social media platforms. Law Enforcement search the internet when they cannot find a missing person match to their unidentified Doe case!
My website uses extensive tagging measures. Why is this helpful? Law Enforcement who are trying to identify a John/Jane Doe are aware of the astronomical amount of people who were either never reported missing or have no active report or any information found on the web. That is where I come into play. They can search my website by using tags to see if anything is fitting for their unidentified person case.
I am also a genealogist who works on cold case crimes, including rape and murder, through my company Doe Naming. The two companies go hand-in-hand, because not only do I do a lot of DNA analysis through U.M. but many missing people are victims of brutal crime.
Finally, you may be wondering, how do I even find these people? I do massive networking. I place many paid advertisements that go to Canada, the USA, and Mexico. They reach thousands of people. Then the people who need help will contact me.
Or, there are some cases, in which I get a tip from someone, or I find information through doing precise searches in public and private forums and websites (as well as social media). It is usually just a one-liner if posted to the web. (Example: “Hi, I’m looking for my sister who vanished in 1985.”) I reach out to them.
If for whatever reason I never hear back from this person who posted a vague description, I will write and credit their post to my page, in hopes it can now be publicly searchable and easily searchable by using precise tagging.