A Missouri man who vanished for seven days after crashing his car in a ravine was found alive and taken to the hospital.
Ryan Linneman, 37, went missing on Oct. 9 in Kansas City after his vehicle plummeted down a ravine near I-470.
The car wasn’t found for days because the area is wooded.
“He was in a real tough place to see, even if you get off on the side of the road … you can’t see it,” Kansas City police Sgt. Bill Mahoney told KMBC. “It looks like he drifted off. Roadway evidence, it doesn’t look like another vehicle was involved.”
A man riding a dirt bike discovered Linneman and alerted the authorities.
“He originally thought it was just an abandoned vehicle,” Mahoney told WDAF-TV. “When he got up on it, he saw someone inside it. He initially thought he was dead and only realized he was still alive after a couple minutes.”
Linneman was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.
Family and friends didn’t know what had happened to Linneman when he disappeared last week without a trace.
There was no activity from his cell phone and none of his debit or credit cards had been used. License plate readers in the area didn’t register his vehicle traveling anywhere. He had been driving a 2004 Honda Accord.
“We think he was injured by the crash, and he couldn’t get out of the car, couldn’t really help himself,” Mahoney said. “Had that dirt biker not come upon him, I don’t see how anyone would have found him.”
Linneman’s family asked news outlets for privacy. One relative said on Facebook that people should pray for Linneman to recover from multiple medical issues, reported the Kansas City Star.
“We are blessed to be able to say that he is alive,” the relative said.
Over 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Many of the missing adults and children are found safe but others are never found or are found dead.
“It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year,” the center stated.
As of Oct. 18, there were 16,822 open missing person cases in addition to 13,022 open unidentified person cases.
According to the FBI (pdf), the National Crime Information Center had over 85,000 active missing person cases across the country as of Dec. 31, 2018. But hundreds of thousands of cases were resolved that year.
Approximately 151,000 missing person records were entered but about the same number were removed.
“Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject, the individual returned home, or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record is invalid,” the center stated.