15 Famous People Who Have Been Reported Missing People
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15 Famous People Who Have Been Reported Missing

List Criteria: Celebrities who have been reported missing

Who are some of the most famous missing people in history? This list includes very well-known actors and actresses, journalists, musicians, socialites, and even heads of state who have all, at some point, been reported missing. The circumstances of their disappearances are all fascinating, and some, sadly, have never been found.

One of the more high-profile missing persons cases of 2012 isn't actually a missing persons case at all. Katherine Jackson was reported as missing in late-July of 2012, by her nephew, Trent Jackson. The whole situation is totally bizarre. Ms. Jackson was, when she was supposedly missing, actually in Arizona with other Jackson family members, playing Uno.

Some of the most well-known missing people on this list vanished forever, with no trace left behind. Their bodies were never found, and friends and family were left to wonder forever what happened. Conspiracy theories about their fates, not surprisingly, run rampant. A few musicians on this list, including Kurt Cobain, are members of the so-called "27 Club," because they vanished and/or died when they were just 27 years old.

Other famous missing persons listed here were discovered weeks, months, or even years later. A status update is included for each person on this list.

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  1. Chelsea O'Donnell

    Chelsea O'Donnell, the 17-year-old daughter of comedian Rosie O'Donnell, went missing for nearly a week in the summer of 2015. Rosie first reported Chelsea missing from their Rockland County, NY area on Sunday, August 16. By Tuesday, there was still no sign of Chelsea, and Rosie turned to social media for help. She posted messages on Twitter and Instagram asking the public for any information they could provide.

    By Wednesday, police had located Chelsea. She had been hiding out with a 25-year-old convicted drug dealer named Steve Sheerer. Chelsea met Sheerer on Tinder, and was apparently with him of her own accord.

    Source: Gawker, USA Today

  2. Former "Top 40" host Casey Kasem's whereabouts are currently unknown. A court ruling on May 12, 2014, granted his daughter, Kerri Kasem, temporary conservatorship for her 82-year-old father. The elder Kasem – who suffers from advanced Parkinson's Disease and can no longer talk – was in the care of his wife, Kerri's stepmother Jean Kasem, and has not been seen by any of his children for some time. During the trial, Jean's attorney, Craig Marcus, admitted neither he nor his client knew where the ailing Kasem was, but were under the assumption that he had been removed from the country.

    Status: Kasem was found in Washington state three days after this story broke. He was with his wife visiting another couple at their home. When asked, they said they "were on vacation."

    He died June 15, 2014 at 82 years old from complications of Lewy body dementia in Washington.  
    (Source) (updated Source)

  3. Actor and apparent drug addict Nick Stahl was reported missing by his estranged wife, Rose Stahl, in May of 2012. She became alarmed after she couldn't reach Stahl for nearly a week and expressed worry that he might have overdosed.

    Status: Found

    Within a few days after the story hit the media, Stahl emerged from a downtown Los Angeles crack house saying he was fine and that he'd gone into a 30-day inpatient rehab program. That wasn't the end of the drama, however; in June of 2012, Stahl went missing yet again. He apparently decided rehab wasn't for him, so he checked out of the facility and vanished.

    Nick Stahl wasn't missing for long the second time around, either. He surfaced days after he bolted from the rehab facility, and his wife Rose reported that he was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and "in a good place."

  4. Jackson family matriarch Katherine Jackson made headlines on July 21, 2012, when her nephew, Trent Jackson filed a missing persons report. Los Angeles police began investigating, and concerns began to mount about the 82-year-old Jackson's whereabouts.

    Status: Found

    Less than 24 hours later, police were able to contact Katherine Jackson - and as it turns out, she wasn't ever actually missing. She was hanging out with other family members in Arizona, enjoying the nice weather and even playing a game of Uno. So why did Trent Jackson file a missing person's report in the first place?

    The situation may have been related to a Jackson family squabble involving some of Katherine Jackson's children. Several of them were apparently asking that Michael Jackson's estate executors resign. Some of the kids reportedly think that Jacko's will was "fake," and they believe the executors are manipulating things, stressing out Katherine and putting her health in jeopardy.

  5. Actor Andrew Koenig (aka Boner from "Growing Pains") went missing in February of 2010 after traveling to Vancouver, British Columbia. Police in Vancouver launched an investigation into Koenig's disappearance as family and friends' concern grew. According to his parents (including his father, "Star Trek" veteran Walter Koenig), Koenig suffered from depression. In the days before he vanished, he had contacted a close friend to return several items that he had been given as gifts. Koenig was last seen alive on February 14, 2010.

    Status: Deceased

    On February 25, 2010, Andrew Koenig's body was discovered by friends who were searching Vancouver's Stanley Park. Koenig's father, Walter, confirmed that his son had committed suicide by hanging himself in a heavily wooded area.

  6. Superman actress Margot Kidder was missing for four days in April of 1996 before she was discovered in a stranger's backyard in Glendale, California. Kidder was found dirty and totally disoriented, suffering what she's described as "the most public freak-out in history." She was delusional, and her two front teeth were missing.

    Status: Found

    Kidder later admitted she suffered from bipolar disorder, but had refused to take any prescribed medication for the condition. During her breakdown, Kidder said she became increasingly paranoid: at one point, she believed that her first husband and the CIA were were "trying to kill" her.

    Kidder wound up on the run, sleeping on the streets for several days before winding up in Elaine Lamb's Glendale backyard. Police picked her up, and she finally gave in to treatment for her manic depression.

  7. Actor and photojournalist Sean Flynn, the only son of famed actor Errol Flynn, vanished in April of 1970, while on assignment in Cambodia for TIME magazine. It was later discovered that Flynn and a colleague, CBS reporter Dana Stone, were kidnapped by Khmer Rouge guerrillas. Reports indicate that the Khmer Rouge probably held Flynn and Stone captive for up to a year before executing them. Flynn's remains were never found, but he was declared legally dead by his mother, actress Lili Damita, in 1984.

    Status: Declared legally dead

    In March of 2010, remains were discovered that were believed to be Flynn's in a mass grave in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Upon further investigation and DNA testing, the remains were determined not to be Flynn's.

  8. Actor Jason Mewes's troubles with substance abuse were well-documented. In 2001, Mewes failed to appear at a mandatory court hearing stemming from his arrest on heroin charges. A warrant was issued, and Mewes was found to be essentially off the grid.

    Status: Found

    In April of 2003, Jason Mewes resurfaced, appearing in a Freehold, New Jersey, courtroom to answer to charges. A judge sentenced the Jay and Silent Bob star to mandatory rehab for several months. He was also given probation through 2005.

  9. Glasvegas singer James Allan gave fans (and bandmates) quite a scare when he disappeared for several days in September of 2009. News that Allan had apparently vanished went global after he failed to appear at the Mercury Awards, where Glasvegas was set to perform. Initial reports said that the Scottish singer was ill, but behind the scenes, everyone was worried.

    Status: Found

    Five days later, James Allan let Glasvegas's manager know he was fine. He was apparently in New York City, though it's not clear why he took off from Europe for the the States. Allan eventually joined Glasvegas in Boston a few days later, where the band opened for Kings of Leon.

    Several Glasvegas dates were canceled in 2009, including a high profile gig at the Coachella music festival. At the time, reports cited Allan's "exhaustion" as the reason, but in March of 2011, Allan admitted in an interview with The Sun that he'd suffered "an overdose."

  10. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain died on April 5, 1994, presumably by committing suicide. Before his death, Cobain had bolted from a rehab facility in California and returned to Seattle, Washington, to the house he shared with wife Courtney Love and their young daughter, Frances Bean. There, it is widely believed, Cobain killed himself with a shotgun. His body was discovered on April 8, 1994, and a suicide note was found at the scene (along with the gun).

    For several days leading up to his death, Kurt Cobain's whereabouts were unclear. His mother filed a missing persons report on her son, and Courtney Love hired a P.I. to try and track him down. He was spotted by the family's nanny and also at a sporting goods store buying shotgun cartridges. Cobain reportedly tried to disguise his identity while in Seattle, wearing "an overcoat and big sunglasses." Numerous people recognized him, despite the strange get-up.

    Status: Deceased

    The circumstances surrounding Kurt Cobain's untimely death have resulted in several theories. Some believe that Cobain was murdered, citing inconsistencies in police reports and evidence, among other things. Others cite the strange nature of Cobain's alleged suicide note, arguing that it's more of a retirement announcement than a last missive. And still others believe that there is no way Kurt Cobain could have been coherent enough to fire the shotgun and take his own life, because he'd injected a lethal amount of heroin into his system in the moments before the trigger was pulled.

  11. Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt vanished more than four decades ago. The 59-year-old Holt was last seen on December 17, 1967, swimming in the rough currants of Cheviot Beach (near Melbourne) with friends. According to witnesses, Holy went into the water despite the dodgy conditions, including a lot of high waves. As he swam farther from shore, friends called out, telling him to turn back – but he disappeared, never to be seen again.

    Status: Presumed dead

    A massive search and rescue operation was launched in the waters surrounding Cheviot Beach, but Holt's body was neverfound. Within days, he was "presumed dead," and a state funeral was held on December 22, 1967.

    The disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt remains a mystery, and the subject of some wild theories: Did Holt fake his own death? Did he commit suicide? The suicide theory is even the subject of the 2007 documentary, Who Killed Harold Holt?

  12. Philip Taylor Kramer

    Philip Taylor Kramer was a musician with the band Iron Butterfly before he pursued a career in aerospace engineering. He went on to found the multimedia company Total Multimedia Inc. By all accounts, Kramer's life was going swimmingly.

    In February of 1995, things took a bizarre turn. Just after having made what some believe was a monumental discovery - a math formula "for transmissions at 'faster than light' speed" - Taylor Kramer left his home to pick up a business associate at LAX. He never arrived. Kramer's final calls were strange and unsettling. He called former musician friends, telling him he loved them, and then he called his wife, saying, "Whatever happens, I'll always be with you." His final call? It was to 911. He told the dispatcher, "This is Philip Taylor Kramer, and I am going to kill myself."

    A massive search was launched to find Kramer, but years went by with no sign. It seemed the man had simply vanished into thin air. The case of the missing Kramer was featured on a lot of high-profile talk shows and crime shows, and still, no new leads were ever generated.

    Status: Dead

    Finally, in late May of 1999, skeletal remains later positively identified as those of Philip Taylor Kramer were found inside a minivan in Decker Canyon, just outside of Malibu, California. Given his suicide call to 911 before he vanished, his death was ruled a probable suicide by police - a decision that Kramer's family still disputes. Was Philip Taylor Kramer murdered?

  13. Manic Street Preachers guitarist and songwriter Richey Edwards vanished on February 1, 1995. He was last spotted at the Embassy Hotel in London, England. After checking out of the hotel, Edwards apparently drove to his apartment in Cardiff, Wales. The 27 year-old musician's car was discovered more than two weeks later, parked at the Severn View services station.

    Status: Presumed dead

    Richey Edwards's body was never found, but in November of 2008 - more than 13 years after his disappearance - his parents had him officially declared as "presumed dead." The mystery surrounding Edwards continues to this day. No one seems to know exactly what happened, and reported sightings of Edwards are ongoing. Is Richey Edwards actually dead? Did he just decide to vanish, or did he possibly take his own life?

  14. Wealthy socialite Dorothy Arnold went missing on December 12, 1910, in New York City, after she left her family's home to go shopping. The 25 year-old came from a family that was extremely well-connected and successful - her father was a perfume importer, and her uncle was SCOTUS justice Rufus Wheeler Peckham. Dorothy was busy with the hustle and bustle of the high society season in Manhattan: she needed to find a suitable gown for one of the parties.

    Dorothy Arnold did a lot of shopping that day. She was spotted at a candy store purchasing chocolates, and later at a book store on 27th St. and Fifth Avenue. Several friends reported seeing Dorothy while she was out and about, including Gladys King (the last person to see her).

    When Dorothy failed to return home that evening, the family became concerned. They put out feelers, hoping to learn, perhaps, that Arnold was simply visiting with friends. However, for some reason, they didn't call the police. Instead, they called a family attorney who conducted his own investigation, trying to determine what happened. Did Dorothy Arnold run away?

    Status: Presumed dead

    Six weeks later, after no sign of Dorothy Arnold had turned up, her parents did contact the authorities. Eventually, news of Dorothy's disappearance went public - though no leads were ever uncovered. Certainly, when a wealthy heiress goes missing, wild theories surface. Some believe Dorothy Arnold took her own life because she wanted to be a writer and her family "mocked her". Dorothy's own father, who exhausted his resources searching for his daughter, believed that she met with foul play that fateful day as she walked through New York's Central Park.

  15. Rapper J-Kwon went missing in February of 2010, sending his record label into a tailspin. The 24 year-old "Tipsy" singer had been missing for nearly a whole month before Gracie Productions issued a statement asking for any and all information on J-Kwon's whereabouts. A special Twitter page, @WhereisJKwon, popped up on social media, and followers left tips and info. People even went door-to-door, trying to find any trace of the rapper, to no avail.

    Status: Found

    Media reports increased, and at some point, J-Kwon saw them. On March 4, 2010, after being off the grid for several weeks, J-Kwon got in touch with Gracie Productions, explaining that he was "taking some time to himself as he sometimes does, not realizing that people would start to worry after a while."

    Not realizing?! Someone goes missing for a whole month and he doesn't think anyone will worry? What gives? Interestingly enough, J-Kwon's fourth studio album was released less than three weeks later. Publicity stunt, anyone?

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