Missing NPF – Letter from the Founder

In alignment with our promise to keep Missing NPF optimized and consistent across all platforms, we have released an aesthetic update to our Welcome, About Us, and several other pages. According to our statistics, 66.4% of our visitors use mobile devices to access Missing NPF content, and 72.9% arrive at Missing NPF organically, necessitating a change in our homepage messaging. Some content has been updated to reflect our position with regard to the data we share from other sources, the frequency of our case updates, and our commitment to ethical and responsible reporting. As a supplement to the information previously indicated in our ‘Welcome’ page, we have included a clarifying identity statement:

Missing NPF is America’s first and most comprehensive missing persons database focused on centralizing information of those who have gone missing on federally managed land in the United States of America. Missing NPF launched in 2020 with the goal of cross-connecting case information from various websites and organizations into one, user friendly environment that – we believe – should have already been designed, developed, and maintained by the United States Government. Missing NPF does not create case file content, nor does it engage in subjective analysis of facts as presented by the investigative entity from which that data was retrieved. Missing NPF is not a federal agency or law enforcement entity; Missing NPF is not a search-and-rescue operation/agency. Missing NPF does not ‘blog’ (in the formal sense of the word), nor does it publish opinion pieces within any element of a listed case file (with the exception of ‘bulletin’ statements which provide clarification that we consider integral to the responsible consumption of information contained within the case file description). Missing NPF is an informational website that collects data from the public domain and centralizes that data in organized fashion.

The focus on those who have gone missing on federally managed land, and our ability to cross-connect valuable elements of data to each case file meets this statement with truth; in no way does this statement serve to devalue or otherwise de-emphasize the work of content creators on various platforms and the professional journalists who acquire vital information for dissemination. In fact, we recognize their efforts and have included the following in support:

The information posted inside case files comes from public reporting, and appropriate credit is given to the source (by name and linked URL) in a dedicated section of each case file.

In response to the growing numbers of websites and publishers who have used (and are currently using) the information we share, we have included clarifying remarks:

At any point in time, data available on Missing NPF should be considered incomplete. Missing NPF not only actively updates case files every day based on public reporting but also has a backlog of missing person cases that have yet to be added to the database; when the information available is simply not clear enough to determine whether the case file meets listing criteria, or the reporting organization has not released critical information needed for listing, we may refrain from listing the person until clarification can be obtained. We work hard to assess and release case files as quickly as practical, staying careful to provide the most accurate data available ethically and responsibly. If you plan on citing Missing NPF in your article or report, please note the above information and notate accordingly.

Missing NPF continues to build upon its current framework from a project management perspective using the insight of our users and guests who submit their recommendations. We have integrated a support tool to handle these incoming requests and to ensure that two-way communication is achieved. Please visit our Support page to view this tool.

As the Founder of Missing NPF, I am deeply humbled by the support we continue to receive from our growing userbase and look forward to releasing more features in the very near future. Thank you! -Joss


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    Joss Leal

    Joss Leal

    Joss Leal is an outdoor enthusiast, Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate student with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Business. Joss founded Missing NPF in October 2020, and maintains the Missing NPF database alongside a team of 3 dedicated ‘seekers’.

    About Missing NPF

    There is currently no centralized database for those who have gone missing in National Parks and/or Forests at the federal level.

    We have established this listing in an effort to provide a holistic measure of assistance, both to inform future search efforts and to establish an assistive resource for those who are currently living with the loss of a loved one. 

    Missing NPF supports the call for federal agencies to establish, maintain, and share a full listing of those missing in U.S. National Parks and Forests. Meanwhile, we have established our own, and seek your collaboration in providing a meaningfully-detailed source by which to expand public knowledge, identify trends, and empower future search efforts. Join us on this mission.