Good news? Finding someone alive always is the "best news" but there are other things we should also take into consideration with this particular kind of missing person case.
A decade ago, I handled the missing
person case of Patrick McDermott, Olivia Newton John's boyfriend. Daily Mail and MSN.com reports McDermott is reportedly alive and well living in Mexico. Hearing the new, I am sure it was nothing short of a miracle for his family and friends.
Originally reported on Dateline in 2010, the source appears very
credible. Texas private investigator Philip Klein wrote a book in 2012 that detailed his investigation, Lost at Sea: The Hunt for Patrick McDermott. where he details his communications with McDermott and McDermott's legal counsel.
I have always waited until absolute confirmation from the
FBI or investigating law enforcement agency before making comment.
However, if it is true that he is in fact safe and sound and has
requested his privacy, I do have something to say about that!
Most might think that someone intentionally going missing for such a
long period of time might be common, it is not. While I am grateful to
hear such good news, I also have a problem. First, a case like this
lessens the urgency and public concern for other missing person cases
that "depend" upon ongoing dissemination of information. An individual
selfishly vanishing without notifying friends and family only
perpetuates the assumption that everyone that goes missing has left on
their own, and n"no worries" because they are safe and sound.
His family, his child, and his friends
have suffered nearly eleven years of trauma "not knowing" if he was alive or
deceased, reportedly even wondering if he committed suicide. In addition, immediately following his supposed fall
overboard, law enforcement and the Coast Guard dedicated an enormous amount of investigative
resources and search efforts . . .even my former agency provided
assistance. We averaged 100 calls per day from law enforcement and families reporting new missing person cases throughout the country.
If Patrick McDermott is indeed okay, then welcome home buddy
but in my opinion, you owe many a sincere apology because the resources
that were expended on the search for you (while you were drinking
Margaritas in Mexico), could have been used for someone who really
needed help. One more thing . . . you should be required to fully refund
the Coast Guard and investigating law enforcement agency. Just my opinion.
I would love to know your opinion. Do you think Patrick McDermott should "man up" and publicly apologize? Reimburse the extensive search and rescue efforts? Or both?