New website launched to track missing people

The number of people who disappear without trace in Switzerland is rising, according to the Swiss Federal Police. They have stepped up their search by posting a new missing persons website on the Internet.

This content was published on July 17, 2000 minutes

Last year some 4,003 people went missing, compared to 3,356 in 1998 and 2,829 the previous year. Police say more than 90 percent re-surface fairly soon, such as children who come home to their families, escaped prisoners who are caught, and husbands or wives who return to their spouses.

But that leaves hundreds of mysterious missing persons who are never seen again, or at least not for decades. Swiss police say some probably go abroad to escape a crime or an unhappy marriage, while others may have died or been killed without being identified properly.

The best-known case is that of seven-year-old Sarah Oberson, who disappeared from her home in Saxon in canton Valais without trace in 1985. She has an entire website devoted to her.

In some cases people go missing for decades but turn up when they are old enough to collect their pensions.

swissinfo with agencies

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