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Missing Persons

December 28, 2008 | David L. Ulin, Ulin is book editor of The Times.
It's always tricky when an author's name becomes an adjective. Orwellian, Machiavellian, Faulknerian -- these designations make it hard to see a writer on his or her own terms. This is perhaps most true of Franz Kafka, whose sobriquet, Kafkaesque, has become a catchall for the weird and inexplicable. Yet 84 years after his death of tuberculosis at age 40, Kafka continues to defy such simplifications, to force us to consider him anew.
September 18, 2008 | Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writer
A downtown Los Angeles hospital accused of recruiting homeless people and putting them through unnecessary procedures to collect millions in fraudulent Medi-Cal and Medicare payments is now under fire for the disappearance of a mentally disabled 76-year-old man in failing health. Richard Steingard, a lawyer for City of Angels, said hospital officials were surprised by the allegations in a lawsuit filed by the family of Lawrence Garcia.
July 14, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The search for adventurer Steve Fossett, who vanished in September after taking off by plane from a remote Nevada ranch, resumes today when a team of athletes and mountaineers starts hiking through rugged mountains on the California-Nevada border where he may have crashed. The 10-member team is headed by Simon Donato, 31, a Canadian geologist whose avocation is adventure racing through wilderness areas around the world.
May 7, 2008 | Mark Magnier and Henry Chu, Times Staff Writers
The death toll continued to climb in Myanmar as state media reported Tuesday that more than 22,000 people had died due to a weekend cyclone and more than 41,000 were missing. Efforts to reach the victims and help the estimated 1 million people left homeless by Tropical Cyclone Nargis remained mired amid bureaucracy, logistical problems and the isolation of many affected areas.
April 25, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Brazil's air force suspended its search for a Roman Catholic priest who vanished after sailing into the air under 1,000 colorful balloons. His family chartered a plane to continue the hunt and the navy was searching with a helicopter and two boats. The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli has been missing since Sunday, when he lifted off from the port city of Paranagua wearing a helmet, a thermal flight suit, waterproof coveralls and a parachute. Jose Carlos Bom, a member of De Carli's technical support team, said the priest could be well if on land, but "if he is still out in the ocean somewhere, I am afraid the chances that he is alive are almost zero."
April 22, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A Roman Catholic priest who floated off under hundreds of helium party balloons was missing off the southern coast of Brazil. Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found. The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli lifted off from Paranagua on Sunday wearing a helmet, a thermal suit and a parachute. The treasurer of his parish said by telephone that the priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the most hours flying with balloons to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in Paranagua.
March 8, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer has disappeared, according to family members and fellow activists, who fear he may have been seized by police as part of a pre-Olympics crackdown. Teng Biao, 34, a lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law, assisted a blind activist who was jailed after exposing abuses in enforcement of China's one-child-only policy. More recently, he urged the government to release Hu Jia, a Beijing AIDS activist arrested in December on charges of subversion, and said the Olympic Games had prompted Chinese officials to trample on human rights.
March 4, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A French soldier with the European peacekeeping force in Chad was missing and another was wounded after their vehicle accidentally strayed into neighboring Sudan, a French Defense Ministry official said. A recovery effort was met with hostile fire, said Commandant Dan Harvey, a spokesman for the EU peacekeeping force. It was not immediately clear who fired on the soldiers. It was the first known incident since European Union Forces began protecting refugees from Sudan's Darfur region.
February 22, 2008 | Tony Barboza, Times Staff Writer
The two business partners boarded the 23-foot sailboat in Dana Point on Saturday evening, authorities said, supposedly heading to San Clemente Island to seal a lucrative deal with a mysterious government agency. When the beat-up boat returned to shore in Long Beach on Tuesday, only one of the partners was on board.
January 23, 2008 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
A Mission Viejo woman who disappeared this month while reportedly walking to a casino on the Caribbean island St. Maarten never arrived at the resort, a spokeswoman said. Frank Cordes, 42, said his wife, Leta Lynn Cordes, 49, left their island vacation home -- where they had gone to spend the holidays -- about 11 p.m. Jan. 11 and walked to the Westin St. Maarten Hotel, about 10 minutes away.
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