Missing persons cases tend to make the friends and family of the victim fear the worst, and as the case winds on many lose hope of ever seeing the victim again.
But life is full of surprises, and detectives know full well that sometimes the facts of the case aren't what they seem, and the victim might not be a victim after all.
In 1957 cookware salesman and family man Lawrence Bader from Akron, Ohio ignored warnings about an incoming storm and took a boat out on Lake Erie, disappearing during the storm.
His damaged boat was found but Lawrence's body was never recovered, yet eight years later a family friend met Bader's spitting image in Chicago, now named John "Fritz" Johnson.
Fritz insisted he was not Bader, and even agreed to let police take his fingerprints to prove it- and the fingerprints proved he was indeed Lawrence Bader.
He claimed to have a form of amnesia that not only erased memories but implanted new ones, but nobody will ever know for sure because Lawrence died of liver cancer before psychiatrists could sort it all out.
At least Lawrence disappeared on purpose, Scottish folk singer Shelagh McDonald didn't mean to disappear just as her career was taking off- she took some bad acid at a party in London, sending her on a terrible trip that instantly ruined her life.
Shelagh's bad trip lasted for weeks and wrecked her voice, so she effectively made herself disappear by moving back home to Scotland and cutting off all ties to her friends and former life.
Thirty years later she was living in a tent with her husband when she saw an article in The Scottish Daily Mail about her disappearance, and to the Mail's surprise Shelagh showed up at their offices very much alive.