Death in absentia
Death in absentia is a legal declaration that a person is deceased
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

 in the absence of remains (e.g., a corpse
A cadaver is a dead human body.Cadaver may also refer to:* Cadaver tomb, tomb featuring an effigy in the form of a decomposing body* Cadaver , a video game* cadaver A command-line WebDAV client for Unix....

 or skeleton) attributable to that person. Such a declaration is typically made when a person has been missing
Missing person
A missing person is a person who has disappeared for usually unknown reasons.Missing persons' photographs may be posted on bulletin boards, milk cartons, postcards, and websites, along with a phone number to be contacted if a sighting has been made....

 for an extended period of time without any evidence that the person is still alive, or when the circumstances surrounding a person's disappearance overwhelmingly support the belief that the person has died (e.g., an airplane crash
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

). A declaration that a person is dead resembles other forms of "preventive adjudication," such as the declaratory judgment
Declaratory judgment
A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court in a civil case which declares the rights, duties, or obligations of one or more parties in a dispute. A declaratory judgment is legally binding, but it does not order any action by a party. In this way, the declaratory judgment is like an action to...


Facts, circumstances, and the "balance of probabilities"

In most common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 and civil code
Civil code
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure...

 jurisdictions, it is usually necessary to obtain a court order directing the registrar to issue a death certificate
Death certificate
The phrase death certificate can describe either a document issued by a medical practitioner certifying the deceased state of a person or popularly to a document issued by a person such as a registrar of vital statistics that declares the date, location and cause of a person's death as later...

 in the absence of a physician's certification that an identified individual has died.
However, if there is circumstantial evidence
Circumstantial evidence
Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime...

 that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the individual is deceased on the balance of probabilities, jurisdictions may agree to issue death certificates without any such order. For example, passengers and crew
A crew is a body or a class of people who work at a common activity, generally in a structured or hierarchical organization. A location in which a crew works is called a crewyard or a workyard...

 of the Titanic who were not rescued by the RMS Carpathia
RMS Carpathia
RMS Carpathia was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson. Carpathia made her maiden voyage in 1903 and became famous for rescuing the survivors of after the latter ship hit an iceberg and sank on 15 April 1912...

 were declared legally dead soon after the Carpathia's arrival at New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. More recently, death certificates for those who perished in the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 were issued by the State of New York within days of the tragedy. The same is usually true of soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

s missing after a major battle
Missing in action
Missing in action is a casualty Category assigned under the Status of Missing to armed services personnel who are reported missing during active service. They may have been killed, wounded, become a prisoner of war, or deserted. If deceased, neither their remains nor grave can be positively...

, especially if the enemy keeps an accurate record of its prisoners of war.

If there is not sufficient evidence that death has taken place, it may take somewhat longer, as simple absence does not necessarily prove death. The requirements for declaring an individual legally dead may vary depending on numerous details including the following:
  • The jurisdiction the individual lived in before death
  • The jurisdiction where they are presumed to have died
  • How the individual is thought to have died (murder
    Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

    , suicide
    Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

    , accident
    An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its...

    , etc.)
  • The balance of probabilities that make it more likely than not that the individual is dead

Most countries have a set period of time (seven years in many common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 jurisdictions) after which an individual is presumed to be dead if there is no evidence to the contrary. However, if the missing individual is the owner of a significant estate, the court may delay ordering a death certificate to be issued if there has been no real effort to locate the missing person. If the death is thought to have taken place in international waters
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

 or in a location without a centralized and reliable police force and/or vital statistics registration system, other laws may be in effect.

England and Wales

In England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, if it is believed that there should be an inquest
Inquests in England and Wales are held into sudden and unexplained deaths and also into the circumstances of discovery of a certain class of valuable artefacts known as "treasure trove"...

, the local coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

 will file a report; this may be done to help a family receive a death certificate that will bring some closure. This will bring any suspicious circumstances into light. The coroner will then apply to the Secretary of State for Justice under the Coroners Act 1988 section 15, for an inquest with no body. The seven years rule will only apply in the High Court of Justice
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

 on the settlement of an estate. According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Justice (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Justice is a ministerial department of the UK Government headed by the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, who is responsible for improvements to the justice system so that it better serves the public...

, the number of requests received each year is fewer than 10 but very few of these are refused. Without a body an inquest relies mostly on evidence provided by the police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

, and whether the senior officers believe the missing person is dead.


It takes 20 years in Italy to declare someone dead in absentia. After 10 years from somebody's disappearance, a motion to declare him legally dead can be filed in a court of law. After that, another 10 years must pass, and she or he will be eventually declared legally dead.

United States

The law calls people who disappear "missing" or "absent". There are several criteria for declaring someone dead by assumption. One, if he/she has been missing from his/her home or usual residence for a period of seven years (amount of years will vary state to state); or such absence has been continuous without explanation, or when those persons most likely to hear from him/her have heard nothing; and the missing person cannot be located by inquiry
An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.-Deduction:...

 and by diligent search. Professor Jeanne Carriere, author of “The Rights of the Living Dead: Absent Persons in Civil Law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

” (published in the Louisiana Law Review), stated that as of 1990, the number of such cases in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was estimated to be between 60,000 and 100,000.

Often the missing person's bank accounts will be checked for activity and possible sightings will be investigated.

According to Edgar Sentell, a retired senior vice-president and general counsel
General Counsel
A general counsel is the chief lawyer of a legal department, usually in a corporation or government department. The term is most used in the United States...

 of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, almost all the states recognize the presumption of death, by statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

 or judicial recognition of the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 rule. However, some states have amended their statutes to lower the seven-year period to only five consecutive years missing, and some, such as Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, have reduced the period even shorter to four years.

If someone disappears, those interested can file a petition
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

 to have them declared legally dead. They will have to prove by the criteria above that the person is in fact dead. There are constitutional limitations to these procedures: The presumption must arise only after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed. The absent person must be notified; courts permit claimants to be notified by publication. “Adequate safeguards concerning property” provisions must be made in the case that an absent person will show up. There are some states that require those who receive assets of the missing person’s to return them if the person turned out to be alive. If a person is declared dead, when missing, their estate will be distributed as if they were deceased. In some cases, the presumption of death can sometimes be rebutted, according to Sentell, courts will consider evidence that the absent person was a fugitive
A fugitive is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from private slavery, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals...

 from justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, had money troubles, had a bad relationship, or had no family ties or connection to a community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 as reasons not to presume death.

A person can be declared legally dead after they are exposed to “imminent peril” and fail to return, like a plane crash, as portrayed in the movie Cast Away
Cast Away
Cast Away is a 2000 drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The film depicts his successful attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo, as well as his...

. In these cases courts will generally assume the person was killed even though the usual waiting time for someone to be declared dead has not elapsed yet. Sentell also says, “The element of peril accelerates the presumption of death.” This rule was enacted after the attack on the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

, so that death certificates could be established. Although people who are presumed dead sometimes turn up alive, it is not as common as it used to be. There has been one recent memorable case where this has occurred, such as in the case of John Burney who disappeared after financial problems and reappeared years after, December 1982, to Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

. His company and wife had already received the death benefits; so, upon returning, the life insurance
Life insurance
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness may also trigger...

 company filed a suit against him, his wife, and his company. In the end, Burney’s actions were ruled fraudulent in court, leading to a $470,000 judgement.


Missing persons have on rare occasions been found after being declared legally dead. Prisoners of war, people with mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

es who become homeless, and in extremely rare circumstances kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

 victims may be located years after their disappearance. Some people have even faked their deaths
Faked death
A faked death occurs when an individual leaves evidence to suggest that he or she is dead in order to mislead others. This may be done for a variety of reasons, such as to fraudulently collect insurance money or avoid capture by law enforcement for some other crime.People who fake their own deaths...

 to avoid paying taxes, debts, etc.

Famous cases

  • Henry Hudson
    Henry Hudson
    Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

    , English explorer, left adrift after a mutiny in 1611
  • Guillaume Le Gentil
    Guillaume Le Gentil
    Guillaume Joseph Hyacinthe Jean-Baptiste Le Gentil de la Galaisière was a French astronomer.-Biography:...

    , French Astronomer
    An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

    , wrongly declared dead in the 1760s after stranded at sea for 11 years. He actually died in 1792
  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist...

    , publisher, author
    An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

    , disappeared during the Mexican Revolution in 1913
  • Joseph Force Crater, New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     judge, disappeared on the way to a play in 1930
  • Amelia Earhart
    Amelia Earhart
    Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean...

    , pioneer, aviator
    An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

    , disappeared while flying in 1937
  • Ettore Majorana
    Ettore Majorana
    Ettore Majorana was an Italian theoretical physicist who began work on neutrino masses. He disappeared suddenly in mysterious circumstances. He is noted for the eponymous Majorana equation and for Majorana fermions.-Gifted in mathematics:Majorana was born in Catania, Sicily...

    , Italian Physicist
    A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

    , disappeared at sea in 1938
  • Richard Halliburton
    Richard Halliburton
    Richard Halliburton was an American traveler, adventurer, and author. Best known today for having swum the length of the Panama Canal and paying the lowest toll in its history—thirty-six cents—Halliburton was headline news for most of his brief career...

    , author
    An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

     and voyager, Pacific Ocean
    Pacific Ocean
    The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

    , lost at sea in 1939
  • Glenn Miller
    Glenn Miller
    Alton Glenn Miller was an American jazz musician , arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was one of the best-selling recording artists from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known "Big Bands"...

    , jazz musician/bandleader, whose plane disappeared over the English Channel in 1945
  • Subhas Chandra Bose, Indian freedom fighter, disappeared in a possibly staged plane crash in 1945
  • Michael Rockefeller
    Michael Rockefeller
    Michael Clark Rockefeller , was the youngest son of New York Governor Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller and Mary Todhunter Rockefeller and a fourth generation member of the Rockefeller family...

    , anthropologist, New Guinea
    New Guinea
    New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

    , disappeared while canoeing in 1961
  • Joe Gaetjens
    Joe Gaetjens
    Joseph Edouard Gaetjens was a Haitian soccer player who played for the United States national team in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, scoring the winning goal in the 1–0 upset of England.- Early life :...

    , footballer, kidnapped by Papa Doc's secret police
    Tonton Macoute
    Tonton Macoutes was a Haitian paramilitary force created in 1959 by President François 'Papa Doc' Duvalier. In 1970, the militia was officially renamed the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale .Haitians called this force the “Tonton Macoutes,” after the Haitian Creole mythological...

     in 1964
  • Harold Holt
    Harold Holt
    Harold Edward Holt, CH was an Australian politician and the 17th Prime Minister of Australia.His term as Prime Minister was brought to an early and dramatic end in December 1967 when he disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned.Holt spent 32 years...

    , Prime Minister
    Prime minister
    A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

     of Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , presumed to have drowned in 1967
  • Hale Boggs
    Hale Boggs
    Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. , was an American Democratic politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Orleans, Louisiana...

    , American politician, whose airplane disappeared in Alaska in 1972
  • Richard Bingham
    Richard Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan
    Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan , popularly known as Lord Lucan, as Lord Bingham before 1964, and sometimes colloquially called "Lucky" Lucan, was a British peer, who disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974, following the murder of Sandra Rivett, his children's nanny, the previous...

    , 7th Earl of Lucan, Disappeared in 1974 after his nanny was murdered
  • Jimmy Hoffa
    Jimmy Hoffa
    James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa was an American labor union leader....

    , trade union leader, disappeared in 1975
  • John Brisker
    John Brisker
    John Brisker was an American professional basketball player who disappeared in Uganda in April 1978. He was declared legally dead in 1985.-Sports career:...

    , basketball player, disappeared in Uganda in 1978
  • Ian Mackintosh
    Ian Mackintosh
    Ian Mackintosh, MBE, was a Scottish naval officer, a writer of thriller novels, and a screenwriter for British television.His first novel, A Slaying in September, was published in 1967...

    , British
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     novelist, Warship
    A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

    , The Sandbaggers
    The Sandbaggers
    The Sandbaggers is a British television drama series about men and women on the front lines of the Cold War. Set contemporaneously with its original broadcast on ITV in 1978 and 1980, The Sandbaggers examines the effect of the espionage game on the personal and professional lives of British and...

    , Wilde Alliance
    Wilde Alliance
    Wilde Alliance is a British television series produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network in 1978. The programme was a light-hearted mystery series created by Ian Mackintosh about a husband-and-wife pair of amateur detectives, Rupert and Amy Wilde ....

    , presumed missing in July 1979 after the plane he was flying disappeared over the Gulf of Alaska
    Gulf of Alaska
    The Gulf of Alaska is an arm of the Pacific Ocean defined by the curve of the southern coast of Alaska, stretching from the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island in the west to the Alexander Archipelago in the east, where Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage are found.The entire shoreline of the Gulf is...

    . No wreckage was found and none of the plane’s passengers were heard of again.
  • Ronald Jorgensen
    Bassett Road machine gun murders
    The Bassett Road machine gun murders were the murders of two men with a .45 calibre Reising submachine gun on 7 December 1963, at 115 Bassett Road, in the Auckland suburb of Remuera in New Zealand. The crime received considerable media attention and captured the public imagination for many years...

    , convicted killer, disappeared in 1984, likely faked his own death
  • Teddy Wang
    Teddy Wang
    Teddy Wang was a prominent Chinese businessman and founder of the Chinachem Group who was kidnapped for ransom in 1990, and later declared legally dead...

    , entrepreneur
    An entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to...

    , Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

    , kidnapped in 1990
  • Richey Edwards, guitarist
    A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

    A lyricist is a songwriter who specializes in lyrics. A singer who writes the lyrics to songs is a singer-lyricist. This differentiates from a singer-composer, who composes the song's melody.-Collaboration:...

    , Manic Street Preachers
    Manic Street Preachers
    Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh alternative rock band, formed in 1986. They are James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Richey Edwards and Sean Moore. The band are part of the Cardiff music scene, and were at their most prominent during the 1990s...

    , disappeared in 1995
  • Ishinosuke Uwano
    Ishinosuke Uwano
    is a former soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army who came to media prominence in April 2006 after it was found that he had been living in Ukraine for six decades after the end of World War II...

    , former soldier of the Japanese Imperial Army, declared dead in 2000 yet presented himself as alive and living in Ukraine to the Japanese government in 2006.
  • John Darwin
    John Darwin disappearance case
    The John Darwin disappearance case was an investigation into the faked death of British former teacher and prison officer John Darwin, who turned up alive in December 2007, five years after he was thought to have died in a canoeing accident....

    , fraudster, faked his own death in 2007
  • Steve Fossett
    Steve Fossett
    James Stephen Fossett was an American commodities trader, businessman, and adventurer. Fossett is the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in a balloon...

    , aviation/sailing adventurer, died in a plane crash in 2007, declared dead before remains were found in 2008
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