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UPDATE 3: FOUND… What it’s like when someone goes missing (thank you for helping)

August 5, 2014

Here’s the quick version: friend Curtiss Cox was last seen Monday, August 4 at 6:00am in Mansfield, Texas. He was driving a blue PT Cruiser, license plate beginning LS*-***. We need help fining him, because this is way, way out of character.

Update 3: Curtiss has been found safe!

This is the point where the story quickly becomes uninteresting, because when a missing person is found safe, we just get “Oh thank goodness”. The rest of the story is the family’s business…not mine, and not yours, and not anybody’s but theirs.

I am so, so glad that there is nothing newsworthy to report. Many missing persons aren’t found so quickly, or worse, are actually subject to one of those worst case scenarios we immediately imagine. Thanks so SO much, everybody who read, retweeted, and offered help during this time.


Update 2, Friday: the addition of

Curtiss’s family has put up a website,, as a support center for this effort. The site has a printable poster for people to hang out and about, as well as an update center, photos, and a guestbook to leave Curtiss positive messages.

Update 1, Thursday: Curtiss’ family posted additional information.

Thanks to all for your love and support it is helping to keep us positive and upbeat in a very difficult situation.

From Tuesday: 

I’m just the friend, so what’s today been like?


Weirdly, I keep thinking of 9/11, and I know just why. When something weird or bad happens, the immediate response is to want to DO SOMETHING. When 9/11 happened, everyone wanted to DO SOMETHING. I saw Facebook posts where people were baking patriotic cakes…they didn’t know what else to do. Blood banks were flooded (ha, and ew) with people wanting to donate.  So, when Curtiss’ wife, my friend, called and told me, I said “What can I do?” “Come over.”  Done. So done.

And I brought food. For some reasons, catastrophes nearly always mean food. That’s reputedly a woman thing, but I don’t know for sure.  I also brought kids, to distract their kids. This plan worked famously.

What are some of the rules of a missing persons event? Far as I can tell, it’s these:

What are the rules for being part of the support crew? These:

  • There’s not a guidebook.
  • Be helpful, and not be a burden. (That means not bugging the primary sufferer for updates. Bug one of the friends, kay?)
  • This is not a good time to talk about all the horror stories you’ve heard/read/been through. Now is the time for steadfast, cautious optimism.
  • Bring food. Food’s always good.
  • Gauge how much the contact wants to think about this. Sometimes you’re there to distract, and sometimes you’re there to say
    “Hey, has anybody tried this?”
  • DO stuff that needs doing. Sometimes it’s calling hospitals, sometimes it’s making lunch, or freeing the contact from having to make decisions.

A day like this is a day of waiting, of doing puzzles, of thinking of things to try and trying them. It’s a day of watching Facebook and your text message stream like you’re waiting for a job offer.

Please help us find Curtiss. We just want to know he’s okay.  [He was found safe on Aug 8.] Nobody needs more than one of these days.


*Yes, I’m writing a “please help us” story in the guise of a human interest story, because I want readers. I want Curtiss found.

One Comment leave one →
  1. KPL permalink
    August 12, 2014 4:12 pm

    Wonderful News! Thank you for the update! You are correct, this is their story. Blessings to his family, I am glad that he is safe.

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