Five months later after Hurricane Katrina and about 2,500 people remain missing and the trail is going cold. As the evacuation of hurricane Katrina took place, 750,000 families along the Gulf Coast split up and scattered across the United States in the frenzied anticipation of the storm.
Thousands of people have been reunited. But as time drags on, hope is turning to fear that loved ones may never be found, or in some cases don’t want to be found or that a few may even have since died.
“Did you forget how much YOU loved your grandmother and how much SHE loved you,” an unidentified person wrote last week on one of the many Web sites set up to help Katrina victims search for the missing.
As difficult as it is to locate the many missing people, there are also reports that some of the missing take this opportunity to go missing.
“You have to believe that there are people who used this as an opportunity to go missing.”
The Find Family National Call Center, set up to help people search for Katrina missing, listed 2,508 people missing as of the end of January. The actual number could be smaller as some people may have found relatives without informing the center, Johannessen said, but new cases are still coming up — about 80 just in the past week.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children lists 254 children as still missing related to Katrina and Hurricane Rita that blew through the same area weeks later.