# 53 (2014) If You Died, Who Would Miss You?
The concept of someone dying and nobody noticing blows my mind and unnerves me just a little. I was reminded of the case of Joyce Vincent who lay dead in her flat for nearly three years and noone reported her missing. In fact it wasn’t until her rent wasn’t paid that anyone noticed at all. Had it not been for that, who knows how long she may have lain there.
I came across a news article from last year which detailed the UK Missing Persons Bureau and the dozens and dozens of bodies recovered in various ways, which still await identification. Noone has come forward for them and cases go back to 1966.
Many are vagrants. Many are people hit by trains either accidentally or by their own device. But all of them came from somewhere, must have been recognisable to at least one other person. Many had house keys, money, personal possessions.
I’m struck by certain cases – the young man found at the bottom of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Clearly a suicide with a ‘homeless and hungry’ sign amongst his possessions. He even had a passport photo on him. Or the chap, suited and booted, who possibly jumped in front of a train at Thirsk in January 1993 with a copy of The Independant Newspaper and £195 in cash in his pocket. Or the diver picked up off the coast of Dover.
Or the jogger who collapsed in Brent and died where he fell but was never claimed.
How does this happen?
I am not blessed with a large circle of friends and that’s my own choice. But I’m pretty sure if I dropped dead tomorrow people would start to ask questions fairly soon.
It’s a frightening concept to think that you can die and not be missed. Even worse, when you are missed, and noone bothers to look for you. What kinds of friends are they?