10 Missing Persons Cases That Still Haven't Been Solved

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10 Missing Persons Cases That Still Haven't Been Solved

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Callum Janes
These individuals vanished without a trace. For this list, we'll be looking at the most mysterious instances where people disappeared, and their true fate has still eluded authorities. Our countdown includes Amelia Earhart, Harold Holt, Jimmy Hoffa, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Missing Persons Cases That Still Haven’t Been Solved


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Missing Persons Cases That Still Haven’t Been Solved.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most mysterious instances where people disappeared, and their true fate has still eluded authorities.

Do you have any theories about these cases? Share them with us in the comments.

#10: Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was an author, record-setter, and the first female aviator to make a solo trip across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, she teamed up with navigator Fred Noonan to become the first female to circumnavigate the globe. The two were spotted fueling up at Lae, New Guinea, on one of the final legs of the trip. Earhart and Noonan then vanished over the Pacific Ocean and were never seen again. Both are presumed dead, but we still don’t know conclusively what actually happened. Public interest and investigations into their disappearance continue to this day.

#9: Bison Dele

On July 6, 2002, retired NBA player Bison Dele sailed from Tahiti with his girlfriend Serena Karlan, and Captain Bertrand Saldo. Dele’s catamaran returned to Tahiti fourteen days later with only Dele’s brother, Miles Dabord, aboard. Once the police caught up to him, he purposely overdosed on insulin, causing him to slip into a coma, and die shortly after. The police believed he killed everyone on board and dumped their bodies in the Pacific Ocean. But Miles claimed he shot Dele in self-defense after the basketball player killed the other two. Since their bodies were presumably dumped way out at sea, it’s unlikely we will ever find them and confirm his story.

#8: Natalee Holloway

In 2005, 18-year-old Natalee Holloway traveled to Aruba on an unofficial graduation trip with her classmates. She was reported missing after failing to show up for her flight home. It led to an intense search that involved local authorities, volunteers, the FBI, and a reward that reached one million dollars. The last people to see her alive were local residents Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, who reported they’d dropped her off at her hotel and hadn’t seen her since. The prime suspect was Van der Sloot, who made conflicting confessions, which he later retracted. He was found guilty of killing another girl years later, but Natalee’s death is still unconfirmed.

#7: Lord Lucan

Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, was a wealthy aristocrat in England. After becoming a professional gambler, Lord Lucan’s marriage collapsed, and he lost custody of his children. In 1974, the children’s nanny was found bludgeoned to death in the family home. Lucan reportedly attacked his ex-wife Veronica when she went to investigate the nanny’s whereabouts. He was last seen at a friend’s property in Uckfield, where he telephoned his mother and wrote a letter to his children. Police found an abandoned car in Newhaven stained with blood along with what appeared to be the murder weapon. While he was named a killer, he was never found. People have reported sightings of the man ever since.

#6: Bobby Dunbar

In August 1912, the Dunbar family took a fishing trip to Swayze Lake in Louisiana, where their 4-year-old son Bobby disappeared. An 8-month search yielded no results until police arrested William Cantwell Walters. He was found traveling with a boy who matched Bobby’s description, though Walters claimed the boy was the son of a friend, Julia Anderson. The child was given to the Dunbar’s, and Walters was convicted. But Julia Anderson protested Walters’ innocence, and claimed the boy as her son: Charles Bruce Anderson. The claims were disregarded, and the boy grew up as Bobby Dunbar. Years after his death, DNA evidence revealed conclusively that he was not a Dunbar. The real Bobby’s fate is still unknown.

#5: Megumi Yokota

In 1977, 13-year-old Megumi Yokota vanished while walking home from school in a seaside village of Japan. Decades later, the North Korean government admitted to multiple kidnappings of Japanese citizens, including hers. It was stated that Megumi was put to work in North Korea, married, had a child, and then took her own life at 29 years old. They cremated her body, sent the remains to her family, and allowed her parents to visit their granddaughter. But it turns out the cremated ashes were not Megumi’s. DNA analysis wasn’t a positive match, and death certificates appeared fabricated. Some believe she’s still alive in North Korea.

#4: Harold Holt

In December 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt and some traveling companions stopped off at Cheviot Beach to swim. He claimed to have spearfished there many times before. Despite rough conditions, he swam out a lot farther than the one man who joined him. Then, in a single moment, he disappeared. This sparked one of the largest search operations for a missing person in Australian history, but his body was never found. Conspiracy theories floated around, but he was presumed dead by accidental drowning. Holt was the third Australian Prime Minister to die while in office, though there’s still no concrete proof of his death.

#3: Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa rose to prominence as the head of the Teamsters labor union. He played a significant role in the organization’s growth but had some sketchy relationships and criminal convictions. In 1975, he disappeared. Due to his political notoriety, this became a hot story, with abundant theories around it. The most common is that his death was ordered by the Mafia. This idea was chronicled in the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt, which was then adapted into “The Irishman” by Martin Scorsese. However, all of these stories have been contested, and the true reason for his disappearance remains unknown.

#2: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

In 2014, this Boeing 777 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it suddenly vanished mid-flight. Modern planes are equipped with all manner of tracking devices, so the aircraft’s sudden disappearance astounded many. While marine debris did wash ashore in the following years, no one knows what happened to cause the aircraft to deviate from its course and lose contact. Multiple investigations have been started and stopped with minimal success, leaving the families of all those on board still waiting for answers.

#1: Madeleine McCann

While on a family vacation to Portugal, three-year-old Madeleine McCann vanished from the ground floor apartment of the Praia Da Luz resort. The night of May 3, 2007, she and her twin siblings were left asleep in the room, while her parents went out to a nearby restaurant. The McCann’s and their friends checked on the sleeping children throughout the night, until it was discovered that the toddler was missing. It’s believed that she was kidnapped, creating one of the most publicized searches in modern history. Unfortunately, wild media coverage and assumptions from the Portuguese police led to a disaster of a situation, with theories of foul play on the parents’ part diluting the search efforts.
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