Patrick Doody Went Missing in 1878, And It’s As If His Case Was Forgotten

Last year, I came across an old news article of man who has remained missing since November 1, 1878.  His name is Patrick Doody.  He went missing in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I decided to do a write-up on this case, even though he does not have any immediate family left.  His children and grandchildren have all passed away.  I wonder if the original police report even exists. Back in 1878, we relied mostly on fountain ink to write, as the typewriter had been invented just 10 years prior and was still not widely used until the 1880’s.  I wonder if his great-grandchildren– if he has any– know about his existence.  I plan to someday delve deeper and try to find them to ask them.  Hopefully someone will keep his story fresh.  By now, he is guaranteed to be deceased, but where is his body?  He was never actually found, as far as records indicate.  If his body ever is found, it is unlikely that he will even have viable DNA.  (Also, by now his body could be too deteriorated for it to be recognized as remains.  Sometimes human remains from the 1800’s and prior are preserved, but that only goes for some cases. 

He may never be found, but his story deserves to be out there.  His story has been buried, and I hope to give it new light.  This is just one of the many very cold cases of missing people who never made it to see the internet (in this case, until now) and are socially stale. 

In 1878, Doody was elderly.  His exact age at the time is unknown.  The  news article that I came across did not state his exact age, but mentioned that he was elderly, hard of hearing, with darker skin.  The Patrick Doody’s that I found through research who lived within a 30-mile radius were all born in Ireland. He had a son, who was mentioned in the news article placed after his disappearance. 

Although this case may never be solved, hopefully this article can help anyone who may research their lineage and stumbles across this article.  He still does not have a proper resting place. 

Before became a widely used governmental missing person database, the fate of a missing person having advocacy relied heavily on activists, community members, and law enforcement. 


Leave a Reply

Up ↑