Too Little, Too Late

I’ve been working on a case for several months that has been a real puzzle. I couldn’t find any record of the person prior to the late 70s although they were born in the late 40s. I spoke with a couple friends who said there was no family–and that the decedent always said they had been kidnapped as a child, had run away to escape, and ended up in the community where they died. I was skeptical. Yesterday I finally figured out the person’s original birth name and was able to piece together a family tree. When I spoke with the sibling today they said yes, that was their sibling, but they had not grown up together because the decedent had been kidnapped before the sibling was born. Life–stranger than fiction.

And my follow-up conversation with the PD in that jurisdiction:

Police Department: We wouldn’t have a record from 1955.
Me: So, that means you resolved the kidnapping case?
Police Department: No. It means that policies change and we don’t keep reports that long.
Me: So, you may not have resolved the kidnapping. You may have just discarded the case even though the victims were never located?
Police: I have no way to know whether it was resolved or not. We purge reports after seven years, except some homicides.
Me: But for unsolved kidnappings?
Police: We wouldn’t have anything on it.

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