Many people whom I speak to think that I am in favor of age-progression. In some senses this is true - I am in favor of prompt and regular AP's for anyone who is missing for a long period of time. However, this is not because I like the procedure. In an ideal world, all missing people would be found before any such procedure is needed.
Unfortunately, this is an imperfect world, and as such age-progression needs to be done. Even with this as a given, many people see only the value for a small percentage of cases. If the person is dead, they do not see the need. This is an attitude that is well-intentioned, but in the end misapplied. While it is true if a person is in fact dead there is no need to see how they may look today, there still is a need for attention to the case. For example, every time a poster on NCMEC has an update, usually in the form of an AP, the poster is e-mailed to anyone involved in their poster campaigns. If someone, anyone, who knows what happened to the person see the poster, they may tell law enforcement what they know. But in order to do that they must see the poster, and older posters are much less likely to be put up without some good reason. Often a new AP will get media attention as well.
And of course there are children missing in many circumstances who are still alive. For them, the procedure seems to be an obvious thing to do. Over 300 children who have been age-progressed have been found safe.
There are those that see the value in such a procedure for missing children, but do not apply it to missing adults. While it is true that an adult changes much less drastically in appearance, they can still change. And although an adult that is alive is very rarely not aware they are missing, there are some cases where this has indeed been the case. A well-placed AP will be a useful tool in the search for the missing. And if there is enough work, perhaps the day will come when there is no need for age-progression at all.
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