We were recently asked to locate an Australian man who had disappeared without trace more than a decade ago. The man had been logged as a missing person with the Police and Ministry of Defence in Australia and his sister had appealed for him to come forward through the national media, but their efforts went unanswered.
The man had been left a legacy in his grandmother’s Will and Title Research was appointed to try to locate him so that he could benefit from his inheritance. Our consultant genealogists began by searching local and national records but there was no official trace of him anywhere in Australia after his disappearance in 2004. After drawing a blank, they began searching online and found a post from a man with the same name on a childcare website. Our genealogists were able to make contact through the website and the author turned out to be the man we had been trying to locate.
It emerged that he had just arrived back in Australia with his new wife and child. He had moved to Beijing, China in 2004 to work on the Olympics but had his phone, laptop and possessions stolen upon his arrival. Due to the strict internet controls in China, he was unable to look up any information and was completely cut off from his family as a result.
The man was delighted to have been contacted by Title Research and is very excited to try and reconnect with his family, which was one of the main reasons he chose to move back to Australia.
Simon Barber, Technical Manager at Title Research, commented: “This particular case was quite a unique one, even for our team of experienced genealogists. We were really pleased to be able to find the man in question and reunite him with his family. We trace over 3,500 missing beneficiaries each year and, thanks to our relationship with genealogists across the globe, we can find beneficiaries in almost any location.”
To learn more about the most common risks faced by legal professionals when faced with missing beneficiaries or incomplete family information, register for Title Research’s upcoming webinar.