More than 11,000 people are listed as missing in Germany, including some 7,000 who are under the age of 18, federal law enforcement officials said.
Around half of the missing minors are unaccompanied refugees. As of October 1, around 3,500 of them were unaccounted for, including 902 under 13 years old.
But these figures could ‘only serve as an approximation,’ a spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) told dpa.
Several factors make it difficult to arrive at the exact number, including refugees who are listed multiple times due to different spellings of their name.
The list includes those missing for just a few days and others who haven't been seen in decades.
‘Experience has shown that about 50 per cent of missing cases are closed within the first week,’ the BKA spokeswoman said.
Armin Gartelmann, head of the missing persons unit at the Bremen police department, said: ‘There are people who go to hospital for a week and don't tell anyone. Others go on vacation and don't tell anyone.’ According to BKA data, after a month, more than 80 per cent of cases are settled. The share of people missing for more than a year is only around 3 per cent.
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