From the "parents' worst nightmare" list comes the scenario of a child going missing. After a long period of working with authorities in trying to locate a missing child, it's common for parents — who may have accepted that their offspring won't likely be found alive — simply wish for their remains to be brought home. At least in those circumstances, they have a sense of closure.
But what of cases in which a person goes missing and then is reportedly sighted one or more times after their disappearance? Those are the facts with the stories told in the article linked below. Consider the perplexing case of August Reiger:
"After graduating from his Oklahoma City high school and being named valedictorian, 18-year-old August Reiger was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma in 2013. The Reiger family decided to celebrate by taking August on a trip to Ecuador. They stayed in the resort town of Banos. On June 16, the Reigers decided to go hiking on a scenic mountain trail. During the hike, August got ahead of his family and told them he would meet them at the summit at the end of the trail. August disappeared out of sight, but when his family reached the summit, he was nowhere to be found. He did not return to their hotel, and a search of the area turned up no trace of him. At the time, August was not carrying any money or his passport.
While it was initially suspected that August had gotten lost, an eyewitness sighting would open up the disturbing possibility that he was kidnapped. Several days after August’s disappearance, it was announced that he had been spotted inside a pickup truck heading toward the Amazon region. Throughout the next year, there would be more reported sightings of a young man resembling August in Ecuador.
The incident wound up making national news. President Barack Obama made a statement about August’s disappearance and referred to him as “a missing patriot.” Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa also pledged his support to the Reiger family and told them that he would make it his mission to find August. Despite all the publicity this case has received, the ultimate fate of August Reiger is still unknown."