For years, I had been unable to track down what happened to a first cousin of my great-grandmother. This was a man born in the 1870s in Illinois. While I had not extensively researched his siblings, I had located their obituaries and places of burial. I wanted the same thing for the missing man–or at least to know where he died..
When I finally began researching the family more extensively in local records, the answer (such as it was) was in the probate file of the missing cousin’s brother. That brother had died without children and his probate provided details on when the missing brother was last seen and what searches were conducted. The missing brother had an ex-wife and children who had tried to find him.
The missing cousin was never found and I’ve never found him either. But now I know why.
If your “missing person” was an heir to an estate, search those records. There may be some mention of your missing person. He may have been found years ago or could have been missing then as well.