Skip to main content
  • Book
  • © 2016

Handbook of Missing Persons

  • Interdisciplinary volume covering a range of forensic research in diverse settings

  • Discuss the impact of disasters on locating missing individuals

  • Investigates the ethics and social policy aspects of missing persons investigations

  • Includes supplementary material:

Buying options

eBook USD 149.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-40199-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (34 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Missing Persons: An Introduction

    • Stephen J. Morewitz, Caroline Sturdy Colls
    Pages 1-5
  3. Conduct Problems Among Runaway and Homeless Teens

    • Stephen J. Morewitz
    Pages 63-75
  4. Pregnancy and Parenting Among Runaway and Homeless Young Women

    • Sanna J. Thompson, Stephanie Begun, Kimberly Bender
    Pages 77-91
  5. Missing Persons: Forensic Sociology Factors

    • Stephen J. Morewitz
    Pages 93-104
  6. Prospective Person Memory in the Search for Missing Persons

    • James Michael Lampinen, Kara N. Moore
    Pages 145-162
  7. Ethical Challenges in Missing Persons Investigations

    • Joyce Kim, Jackie Leach Scully, Sara Huston Katsanis
    Pages 163-175
  8. Forensic Genetics Against Children Trafficking: Missing Children Genetic Identification

    • María Saiz, Maria Jesus Alvarez-Cubero, Juan Carlos Alvarez, Jose Antonio Lorente
    Pages 177-189
  9. Missing Persons in Croatia: Incidence, Characteristics and Police Performance Effectiveness

    • Ksenija Butorac, Ljiljana Mikšaj-Todorović, Mislav Stjepan Žebec
    Pages 207-231
  10. Estimating the Appearance of the Missing: Forensic Age Progression in the Search for Missing Persons

    • James Michael Lampinen, William Blake Erickson, Charlie D. Frowd, Gregory Mahoney
    Pages 251-269
  11. The Role of Forensic Archaeology in Missing Persons Investigations

    • Eric J. Bartelink, Colleen F. Milligan, Caroline Sturdy Colls
    Pages 271-294

About this book

This ambitious multidisciplinary volume surveys the science, forensics, politics, and ethics involved in responding to missing persons cases. International experts across the physical and social sciences offer data, case examples, and insights on best practices, new methods, and emerging specialties that may be employed in investigations. Topics such as secondary victimization, privacy issues, DNA identification, and the challenges of finding victims of war and genocide highlight the uncertainties and complexities surrounding these cases as well as possibilities for location and recovery. This diverse presentation will assist professionals in accessing new ideas, collaborating with colleagues, and handling missing persons cases with greater efficiency—and potentially greater certainty.

Among the Handbook’s topics:

·A profile of missing persons: some key findings for police officers.

·Missing persons investigations and identification: issues of scale, infrastructure, and political will.

·Pregnancy and parenting among runaway and homeless young women.

·Estimating the appearance of the missing: forensic age progression in the search for missing persons.

·The use of trace evidence in missing persons investigations.

·The Investigation of historic missing persons cases: genocide and “conflict time” human rights abuses.

The depth and scope of its expertise make the Handbook of Missing Persons useful for criminal justice and forensic professionals, health care and mental health professionals, social scientists, legal professionals, policy leaders, community leaders, and military personnel, as well as for the general public.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antemortem Dental Records
  • DNA analysis
  • DNA typing
  • Dementia
  • Forensic Odontology
  • International Commission of Missing Persons'
  • Morphological Identification
  • compromised samples
  • crime scene reconstruction
  • endangered runaway
  • family reunions with former missing persons
  • forensic botany and geology
  • forensic entomology
  • forensic palynology
  • homeless youth
  • human remains
  • human-centered intelligent web-based
  • identifying missing persons
  • identifying missing persons

Editors and Affiliations

  • Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, San Francisco, USA

    Stephen J. Morewitz

  • Forensic Archaeology and Genocide, Investigation, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom

    Caroline Sturdy Colls

About the editors

Dr. Stephen J. Morewitz is President of the forensic sociology consulting firm, STEPHEN J. MOREWITZ, Ph.D., & ASSOCIATES, Buffalo Grove, IL, San Francisco & Tarzana, CA. Founded in 1988, his firm consults in civil, criminal, and immigration court litigation. He is a Lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences at California State University, East Bay, and is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department at San Jose State University. Dr. Morewitz has been on the faculty or staffs of Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine and School of Public Health, DePaul University, Argonne National Laboratory, and the California School of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Morewitz is the author or co-author of eight books and over 100 other publications, including the award-winning book, Domestic Violence and Maternal and Child Health (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers/Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2004), the award-winning book, Stalking and Violence. New Patterns of Trauma and Obsession (New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers/Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2003), Death Threats and Violence. New Research and Clinical Perspectives (New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, 2008), and Sexual Harassment and Social Change in American Society (Bethesda, MD: Austin & Winfield, Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, 1996). He is past Chair of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) Law and Society Division and the SSSP Crime and Delinquency Division and has served on a variety of SSSP committees. He was elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and to Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society in Social Sciences. Dr. Morewitz earned his A.B. and M.A. from The College of William & Mary in Virginia and his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago.
Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls is an Associate Professor of Forensic Archaeology and Genocide Investigation at Staffordshire University. She is also the Research Lead of the Centre of Archaeology at the same institution. Dr Sturdy Colls has working on missing persons cases in both the UK and internationally.  As a practicing forensic archaeologist, she undertakes consultancy for UK Police forces with regards the search and recovery of buried remains. Her particular interests in this field include the application of forensic archaeological methods to the investigation of cold cases. Dr Sturdy Colls has also undertaken pioneering research into Holocaust archaeology, with a particular focus on the ethical issues surrounding the investigation of genocide. She has led the first forensic archaeological investigation at Treblinka extermination and labour camps and undertaken searches at several other Holocaust sites across Europe, including in Adampol (Poland), Bergen-Belsen (Germany), Semlin (Serbia) and Alderney (Great Britain). She is also currently supervising research projects focused upon genocide in Zimbabwe, Holocaust execution sites and developing new state-of-the-art crime scene recording technologies. She is the author of numerous publications regarding forensic and Holocaust archaeology. Her most recent volume “Holocaust Archaeologies: Approaches and Future Directions” was published by Springer in 2015.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Handbook of Missing Persons

  • Editors: Stephen J. Morewitz, Caroline Sturdy Colls

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Behavioral Science and Psychology, Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-40197-3

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-92883-8

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-40199-7

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 585

  • Number of Illustrations: 15 b/w illustrations, 76 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

Buying options

eBook USD 149.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-40199-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 279.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)