'Unclaimed' — The California Sunday magazine


Whoever he'd been before, whoever he still was inside, to the world around him, he was now a human riddle,
a blank slate on which to write a thousand possible names and stories.


"It's a very specific kind of pain. Everything becomes possible.
When you don't have a truth, you create your own reality."


"He looks a lot like my son. My son disappeared the same year. I'm sure."


The consulates keep a DNA testing lab on retainer and maintain a database of the missing that includes more than 30,000 people. Each year, they solve only about 80 cases.


A story by Brooke Jarvis.