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The Long Term Missing

Hope and Help for Families

Silvia Pettem - Foreword by Stuart Somershoe

When loved-ones go missing, the lives of their family members are turned upside-down. As the days and months turn into years, some families are caged in by their grief, while others become proactive –– renewing police contacts, keeping up with the latest technologies, and educating themselves as they strive to become their long-term missing persons’ advocates. By inspiring hope, as well as providing answers and practical advice, The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families assists families in navigating the uncharted territory they never chose to enter.

Author Silvia Pettem also provides families with information to better understand how law-enforcement and related agencies work to solve missing persons cases. Along the way, she takes her readers behind the scenes, while emphasizing that every unidentified person is a missing person to someone else. With real cases, both solved and unsolved, the book also illustrates the resources available and the actions that family members, civilians, and law enforcement agencies can take to search for long-term missing persons, to identify previously unknown remains, and to bring the missing persons home.

The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families inspires hope and gives answers as it empowers family members of long term missing persons to be proactive and to become their missing persons’ advocates.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 262Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-5680-4 • Hardback • March 2017 • $34.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-5681-1 • eBook • March 2017 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
Silvia Pettem is a Colorado-based historical researcher, newspaper columnist, and author of more than a dozen books, including Someone’s Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe (Rowman & Littlefield/Taylor Trade, 2009). Pettem is also a Cold Case instructor in classes sponsored by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a former advisory board member of the organization Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, and a Medal of Honor recipient of the Vidocq Society. In addition, she works (as a volunteer) on unsolved missing persons cases in the Detectives Section of the Boulder Police Department and often assists other police agencies, in cold case research, all over the country. She can be contacted through her website, www.silviapettem.com.
Chapter 1. Why Finding the Missing is Important
Chapter 2. Categories of Long-term Missing Adults
Chapter 3. Children: Helping to Bring Them Home
Chapter 4. Proactive Police
Chapter 5. Civilian Searchers
Chapter 6. Celeste’s Sister Sara: Found Alive in Mexico
Chapter 7. NamUs: An Investigative Tool
Chapter 8. Become Your Long-term Missing Person’s Advocate
Chapter 9. Gather Information, Document, and Do the Research
Chapter 10. Pitfalls and Legalities
Chapter 11. Retrospect –– Inside a (Previously) Cold Case
Chapter 12. Final Words
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: a missing child. Of course, adults vanish, too. In fact, at any given time, about 100,000 Americans of all ages will go unfound. They may be runaways, or they may be lost or injured. Pettem, author of more than a dozen books, including Someone’s Daughter (2009), uses her own interviews with 22 people (along with background information from newspapers, websites, and TV shows) to explain both famous and not-so-famous abductions. Some victims survive. Who can forget Elizabeth Smart, who, at 14, was taken from her Salt Lake City home and, as she testified, repeatedly raped every day? Other victims die. Polly Klass, kidnapped at knifepoint during a slumber party when she was 12, was strangled. Pettem advises searching parents to be a 'squeaky wheel.' She also encourages them to see if their states offer Missing Persons Day events and to attend to give DNA samples and to update reports. This guidebook should empower families to never give up hope, even as Pettem reminds readers that not everyone wants to be found.

[The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families is] fascinating.... I highly recommend reading Pettem's book.
Faribault County Register

For so many — including Iowans — [The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families] is the book thousands of families have long wished someone would write. It doesn’t provide just hope, it offers clear and insightful methods for those who want to get involved in finding out what happened to a loved one who went missing long ago.
Iowa Cold Cases

Pettem's ... book, The Long Term Missing: Hope and Help for Families, [is] a page turner.
Boulder Daily Camera

This book is critical for all who wishes to research missing people cases.... Highly recommended book.
Defrosting Cold Cases

The Long Term Missing is the first book to show how families use NamUs to bring their loved-ones home.
J. Todd Matthews, Director, Case Management and Communications, National Missing & Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

Knowledge is power, and in these pages you will find knowledge to empower yourselves. You will be taught how to navigate the unknown territory you have entered. You will recognize what realistically can and should be done in a case. Best of all, you will become your long-term missing person’s advocate, not only to law enforcement but to the rest of the world. And, maybe—hopefully—you will find resolution and answers.
Stuart Somershoe, Detective, Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit, Phoenix Police Department

Silvia Pettem writes from the heart. Her engaging narrative is packed with real-life stories and is a must-read for family members as they journey from heartache to hope.
R.H. Walton, EdD, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice Program, Utah State University; author, Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques