A Suffolk County Police K-9 unit searches brush at Gilgo...

A Suffolk County Police K-9 unit searches brush at Gilgo Beach on Dec. 5, 2011. Credit: James Carbone

There are tens of thousands of open missing cases across the United States, including more than 100 active cases on Long Island, that keep investigators searching, sometimes for decades. Officials in Nassau and Suffolk said unsolved missing persons cases are all considered active until the lost are found.

Suffolk has 103 cases and 24 unidentified remains, including three cases in the Gilgo Beach probe, in a nationwide database as of Wednesday. The oldest case goes back to 1969. Nassau has 36 missing persons cases going back to 1955 and 15 unidentified remains.

Men make up the bulk of missing persons reports: 60% in Suffolk and 61% of the Nassau cases, according to reports complied by NamUs, a national information center for missing, unidentified and unclaimed persons cases across the United States. In terms of race and ethnicity, the majority are white: 52% in Suffolk and 56% in Nassau. Black people account for 16% of Suffolk cases and 6% in Nassau. There are no Hispanic cases in Suffolk but 32% are categorized by NamUs as being of mixed race or ethnicity. In Nassau, Hispanics account for 11% of missing cases, and Asians also make up 11% of the missing. According to NamUs, 8% of missing in Suffolk and 31% Nassau are under the age of 18.

Search this database to learn more about each of the 139 active missing person cases on Long Island.

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