Matt Hilton’s new action thriller, PAINTED SKINS, is published next month. Set in Portland, Maine, it sees Private investigator Tess Grey and her ex-con partner Po investigate the disappearance of a troubled young woman.
Here Matt shares some facts he’s discovered on missing persons cases in America.
Did you know that approximately 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day and that at any given time as many as 100,000 missing persons cases are active in the USA? This shocking figure includes both adults and children, but doesn’t include those who have gone missing abroad, those who have vanished and never been reported, or homeless people (including their children).
In many cases, missing persons receive low priority from overworked authorities already investigating serious crimes of homicide, robbery, assault, and rape. Often those reported missing suffer from mental illness, substance abuse and alcohol dependency so receive little sympathy from the authorities, the media or even the public. In only around 15% of cases does the missing person’s case get designated as ‘endangered or involuntary’ – the most serious classification – most of which are children under the age of 18.
The earliest missing persons case reported in America dates back all the way to 1587, when an entire colony of settlers – including Virginia Dare, the first colonist baby born in the New World – vanished without trace from Roanoke Island. The case of the missing colony still baffles investigators to this day, the only clue to their disappearance being the enigmatic word ‘Croatan’ carved on a post in the abandoned settlement.
(Information source: USA Today)
Matt Hilton worked for 22 years in private security and the police force in Cumbria. He is a 4th Dan blackbelt and coach in ju-jitsu. He is the author of ten novels in the Joe Hunter series, and one previous Tess Grey thriller.
Praise for Matt Hilton:
“Po and Tess make an appealing odd couple” Publishers Weekly on Blood Tracks
For further information on Matt Hilton, please visit our website here.