Example: [Collected via e-mail, May 2006]
I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. Maybe if everyone passes this on, someone will see this child.
That is how the girl from Stevens Point was found by circulation of her picture on tv. The internet circulates even overseas, South America, and Canada etc. Thanks
We have a Deli manager (Acme Markets) from Philadelphia, Pa who has a
My 13 year old girl, Ashley Flores, is missing. She has been missing now for two weeks. It is still not too late. Please help us. If anyone any where knows anything, please contact me at: HelpfindAshleyFlores@yahoo.com I am including a picture of her.
All prayers are appreciated!! "It only takes
Variations: In October 2008, we encountered a version of the
Origins: Most missing child alerts circulated via
The text of the e-mail (reproduced as we first received it in
Meanwhile, the one piece of identifying information provided in the message, a yahoo.com
In the event, it turned out that although the pictured Ashley Flores might have been a real girl, her "missing" status was one concocted as a kids' prank. In this case it was a particularly bad and widespread prank, one that left thousands and thousands of concerned citizens attempting to verify the status of a missing girl who wasn't really missing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
It's not an active case because it isn't true.
It's a hoax — pure balderdash, sheer hornswoggle, a regular mountain of malarkey.
There may indeed be an Ashley Flores living in Philadelphia, but nobody has reported her missing to the Philadelphia Police, said Yolanda Dawkins, a department spokesperson.
The FBI hasn't received any notice about young Ashley, either. Neither has the Pennsylvania and
An Acme spokesperson said that the market had received numerous inquiries and offers of help, but knew of no employee named Flores who had a missing daughter.
In April 2007, a version appearing over the signature of Staff Sergeant Rick Williams of the Rolla (Missouri) Police Department began hitting inboxes. While there is indeed a staff sergeant named Rick Williams working for that particular law enforcement agency, the hoax is just as much a hoax as ever. Says the Rolla Police Department about the
Initial reports in the media and on the Internet of the missing
Despite conclusive evidence that the original missing person report and Amber Alert regarding Ashley Flores was a hoax concocted by a kid's prank, the Rolla Police Department still receives hundreds of calls every day regarding her status.
A variety of searches through law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations,
The Rolla Police Department is trying to spread the word that although Ashley Flores may exist, reports of her disappearance were an unfortunate internet hoax. Pranks such as these are not only illegal, but also hamper and interfere with communications and law enforcement operations.
For more information, please go here or call Lt. Doug James at 573-364-1213.
Last updated: 15 March 2011
Welch, Dylan. "'Missing Girl Hoax Spreads." The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 June 2006. Wood, Sam. "'Missing' Girl Is Everywhere — in a Widespread E-Mail Hoax." Philadelphia Inquirer. 20 May 2006. NBC10.com. "E-Mail Claims 13-Year-Old Philadelphia Girl Missing." 18 May 2006.