Missing — 20-thousand Iowans. A closer look at the Public Safety Department’s figures will show why that number’s not as serious as it sounds. Wendy Nerem handles the missing-persons reports sent up by local law-enforcement departments.In 2000, there were 73-hundred-49 people reported missing, but 96% of cases are cleared in a year, and most are kids, 99-percent of those runaways. Nerem says in the average week Iowans file about 340 missing-persons reports with local agencies. That would total nearly 20-thousand a year, but many cases quickly solve themselves when the person turns up.Fourteen-percent return, or are found, within a day. Within a week, 75 percent are cleared and 88-percent are solved within a month’s time. Nerem says many people have heard you must wait till someone’s been gone for 24 hours before making a missing-persons report, but that’s not always true.While most missing people are found within a few days, the oldest missing-person report isn’t the infamous case of Johnny Gosch, but a case from 1975. Nerem says the investigators never throw away a file.
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