Instagram | hritculili

People Share What’s It’s Like To Be The Last Person To See Someone Alive

Joyce Kiddell 27 Oct 2019

Death is something which everyone has experience with in one form or another. It creeps up on us every now and again to serve as a bleak reminder of how fleeting our lives can be. It is also a prominent topic for discussion on the internet for a variety of reasons.

Recently, one Reddit user asked, "Redditors who were the final people to see a missing person, have they been found?" The question received a lot of responses from people, sharing experiences not only about missing people but about what it was like to be the last person to see someone alive.

Below, I have found some of the most heartbreaking, and unbelievable stories that people shared.

1. A Brush With Death

Unsplash | Myke Simon

"I was at a movie theater with my brother when a guy my brother knew saw us. [...] He asked us for a ride to his apartment, so we gave him one. He asked us if we wanted to come in a hang out for a while but we didn't want to so we left. A few weeks later we found out after we dropped him off he got into an argument with his neighbor and they killed him. I wonder sometimes would he still be alive if we stayed or would we have been killed too." — ninjavarnish

These kinds of stories remind you of how close people can be to death at any moment, and how seemingly simple decisions can change the trajectory of your entire life and the lives of others.

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2. Drive-By Shooting

Instagram | rmschepis

"I knew a guy who was in his senior year and I knew him because we worked together at a school job we did. While working we were talking and he was telling me about how he's gonna go hang out with his friends after work [...]

"Next day it's reported that he was killed in a drive-by shooting, this was two weeks before he graduated high school. I was the last person who had talked to him before he got into his car". — SealTheApproved

No matter how well or fleetingly you know someone who dies, it can have a severe impact on you.

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3. Accidental Electrocution

Instagram | urbanhabitat409

"A friend in college had left a party we were at because he had remembered he left his jacket in another person's dorm. Nobody heard from him the following day; most figured he was drunk and just passed out somewhere. [...] Days turned into weeks, there were campus-wide man-hunts with hundred of volunteers... his body finally turned up in an electrical closet 6 weeks later. Accidental electrocution." — Stevenab87

This boy was actually identified as Wade Steffey, who tragically died at Purdue University.

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4. The Unsolved Death

Instagram | bus_stops_of_surrey_and_hants

"Saw him at a club with some friends on a night out, one of my friends was hooking up with him on and off so they had usual uni drama going on. He left after that to go back home or something. The next morning he was found dead, the last ever video was him getting off a bus and then there was no other CCTV footage of him after he walked a bit further down the road.

"His death was never solved. It's really unsettling to this day" — neuroticbrunette

The person who wrote this expanded on it only slightly, explaining that he was found at the side of a road with a fractured skull.

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5. Returning Library Books For The Final Time

Instagram | librarygramm

"I worked in a very small public library, years ago. There was a young man, maybe 8 to 10 years older than me that came in every few days for several months. [...] One day he came in, we talked for a while and he asked me to make sure he had returned everything he had checked out. I did, and before he left he thanked me for always helping him and being nice, etc. He walked up the street to his apartment and shot himself. I always wished that I had realized he was saying goodbye." — Kellymargaret

It's impossible to know whats going on in other people's heads a lot of the time, and people can often feel responsible for not seeing things that just weren't there after these sorts of tragedies happen.

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6. The Last Email

Instagram | peoplearegoingbowling

"They were found. Committed suicide in a motel room. I was ignorant and did not realize he was reaching out for help. That realization after the fact hit me hard. I saved his last email to me, and read it as a reminder every so often." — Totally_Not_A_Bot_5

It's good to have something to hold onto reminding us of those we've lost, but it is also crucial to move forward at the same time.

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7. Working At A Nursing Home

Instagram | olivbrunnervolk

"I worked in a nursing home and right after I put a resident down for bed, I went to lunch. 20 minutes into lunch, a coworker came and told me she had died. So I was the last person to see her alive. It was sad, sure, but the downside to working in a nursing home is that you kinda get used to death." — TaraJo

The idea of getting used to death can be so strange for those of us who don't work in health care areas. However, it is eerily understandable.

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8. The Final Phone Call

Instagram | _martinfaust_

"One day, while [me and my best friend] were talking about her suicidal thoughts, I asked her to promise me that if she was ever going to attempt again and was not willing to accept help or get talked out of it, that she would say goodbye in a way that I wouldn’t realize was 'goodbye' at the time but gave me some sort of closure.

"Fast forward a few months, and she was insistent on talking to me on the phone one night. [...] She promised she was safe and we exchanged 'I love you's and 'goodnight's. But after our call, she successfully took her life." — mother_frakker

Even if you aren't the last to see someone, being the last to speak to someone before they die can be just as devastating and haunting experience.

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9. The Last Person To See A Patient

Unsplash | Kei Sek

"I was the last person to see a patient admitted with major depression after his divorce, just found out he didn't receive custody of his kids. The senior doctor decided he was low risk because he had no significant mental health history, didn't disclose any specific plans to hurt himself, and appeared very well and optimistic.

"Two weeks later a stranger found his car on the side of the road, bullet in his head. Turned out he was a police officer and had access to a gun to shoot himself." — manlikerealities

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10. "I was one of the last people to see a kid who lived across the street before she was kidnapped"

Instagram | hehonestmnmommy

"When I was around 14 and she was around 8, several men broke into the [neighbors] house and kidnapped her. I had babysat her the night before, and I can't remember if she was home alone or if one of the grandparents was there.

"The police found her about 10-12 days later. Her mother owed a lot of money for drugs and so some of the drug dealers tracked down her kid and kidnapped her to try to get the mother to pay them. I never learned the details of what happened while she was kidnapped, and she has gotten therapy and is now married with kids." — gianisa

The person who posted this made sure to respond to comments to make sure that the girl is now thankfully happy and healthy.

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11. Drowning

Instagram | gybephotography

"I was in the Coast Guard. As we were approaching a call I saw a 16-year-old go under. We locked eyes and she slipped away. She was not found for 3 weeks. I saw worse situations but that really stuck with me. When they found her, her mom invited the boat crew to the funeral cause 'we did what we could'. I was crushed." — tokiwowwees

The ocean is a dangerous place, I've been terrified of it for as long as I can remember.

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12. Hostage Situation

Unsplash | isaac jarnagin

"I was the last person to see a patient of mine before his brother locked him in his basement for a few weeks. The patient was eventually found. I felt really privileged to have helped.

"By chance, he gave me his brother’s address as a forwarding address and the police went looking for him there. When found, my guy was dehydrated and had a broken jaw, but ultimately did well." — blublablublu

It doesn't bear thinking about what would have happened if this person didn't have their address!

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13. The Last Time They Saw Their Uncle Alive

Unsplash | Zakaria Zayane

"I was the last person to see my uncle alive. He was a hotshot driver so he would deliver oilfield parts across states at a moment's notice. I was at the local truck stop waiting in line to pay for gas early one morning and I was groggy and out of nowhere I get a random man grab me from behind and put me in a headlock [...]

"He was on his way to Pennsylvania and pulled over for a quick nap and he just never woke up.. he was missing for a week or so before they found his body." — YachtClubMarco

When people die in their sleep far before their time it can leave you feeling robbed of that person, but it's important to focus on the good time had with them above everything else.

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14. Driving Through The Night

Instagram | horizon.bay

"We were at my house after prom (so it was around 3 in the morning), and one of my teammates from my basketball team stopped by with her date, who was her best friend. He stayed for a couple of hours and then headed home. He was extremely devout and didn't want to miss Sunday service. He ended up falling asleep at the wheel, crossed a median and hit another car head-on. He and the other driver died." — confirmandverify2442

As much as people warn of the dangers of drink driving, driving when you're tired can also be incredibly dangerous.

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15. The Last Time They Saw Him Skate

Instagram | rudyanalog35mm

"One day when I was walking home from a friend's place I was just looking at my feet when I heard someone skateboarding towards me. When I looked up I noticed it was one of my skating buddies so I smiled and was about to call out to him but he put his finger over his lips like a Shush [...] I just decided to confront him in the morning at school only he committed suicide that night." — Graykloud

Some schools really do a lot to try and help their student's mental health. However, there is so much more that government legislation could do to help schools try and combat depression amongst students.

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16. After The Affair

Instagram | oooldhu

"One of my best friends found out his wife was cheating on him. He went ballistic, grabbed his gun and took off to parts unknown. Both the police and I went looking for him for several hours but couldn't find him. Eventually, he texted me saying he loved me and where we could find his body. Which we did. I was the last person he ever spoke to in life." — evilkumquat

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17. "When I was 13 I went to visit my Auntie on a whim..."

Instagram | ladymysti

"My Aunty kept saying she was so happy to see me and was dressed up like she was going on a date or something. Which I found strange because she was only hanging around at home. We chatted for a bit and was saying some very odd things, 'tell such and such this', 'tell so and so I love them'.

"The next day no one in the family could reach her. The curtains were all pulled at her house and the phone line was cut. After eventually breaking in, my grandma discovered she had hung herself in the closet. Everyone in the family wondered why she didn’t leave a note. After 3 years of repressing that memory, it resurfaced and I realized that I was the note." — MsAlpha97

Who knows whether she would have left an actual note had this person not gone round.

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18. Overdosing

Unsplash | Michael Longmire

"I was the second to last person to see my buddy MC alive [...] He had gotten out of rehab for heroin, clean for 6 months (still smoked weed, no hard shit though). We hung out on the 4th of July, enjoyed a finely rolled blunt while watching fireworks and talking about the girls we liked and our lives.

"I dropped him off at our other buddies place about 1 am. Found out later the next day that other 'buddy' had gotten him to try heroin again and he immediately OD'd and died. Other buddy dumped him on his parents' porch." — jkohl

Apparently the person who prompted the overdose ended up in prison. I can't imagine what the parents must have gone through finding their son like that.

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19. Fake Ransom Note

Instagram | pebblestationeryco

"Back in high school, a guy I knew disappeared and the cops interviewed my friends and I. Apparently a note was found on his bed that read 'Give us $1000 or you'll never see your son again' and that's all it said; no contacts or drop-off location or anything.

"They found the guy three days later walking around the mall. He had been hiding behind an Albertson dumpster the entire time and got bored when he decided to walk around a nearby mall. Idiot." — ghostmetalblack

What kind of person could put their family through this kind of stress and heartbreak?

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20. He Went The Bathroom And Never Came Back

Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"My friend and I were celebrating Pride week in Toronto. His little brother (16) had never been so my friend wanted him to experience the energy of the season. My friend and I met up with his brother and shortly after my friend needed to go and meet some of our other friends, which he was going to bring back to meet us. I volunteered to stay with the brother and buy him some street meat [...]

"We went and enjoyed our snack away from the millions of people in the streets. Once we finished he offered to go and throw out the garbage and said he had to go to the washroom. We haven't seen him since (6 years ago). No contact."

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21. Skiing Alone

Unsplash | Hendrik Morkel

"A few years back I was doing some early season backcountry skiing in Hatcher Pass (Palmer Alaska) [...] My two friends and I decided to stick to the mellow stuff because of flat light and more snow starting. As we were leaving the parking lot we noticed a solo skier heading out into much steeper terrain.

"When we got back to the parking lot we were told that there was a sizable avalanche triggered and debris reached the parking lot. Anyway, a day or two later there was news of a missing skier from that day. His body wasn't found until the snow melted in late June." — facepillownap

You should always try and ski with a partner when possible, and never be afraid to turn back when it gets too much!

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22. His Dog Told Them Where The Body Was

Instagram | annetennila

"There was this guy in his mid-thirties that started hanging around our college bar. He used to leave his dog outside, and it would wait for him. I'd always talk to him a bit, as I was a few years older as well. One night he walked home, crossed the frozen river that splits town, and fell through the ice. The next day, they found his dog waiting by the hole in the ice. They found his body after the thaw, about a mile downriver, caught in some brush." — BigOak44

The world is so full of stories regarding people dying after walking home alone while drunk. Try and walk with a friend or get a cab if you can.

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23. The Manson Family

Wikipedia

"My sister had a best friend whose sister was about my age. I am one of the few who last saw her. She was 13-14 when she disappeared. It's believed she may have gotten in with the Manson family, but no one knows. She has been missing all this time. I am 65 yrs old. I never forgot her, it still pops into my memory and bothers me." — Kaliseth

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24. The Lake

Instagram | @daradriell

"When I was small I was the last person to see three teenage boys before they drowned in a lake," this person writes, "They were about 17 or 18 years old. I was about 7 or 8 and fishing with my dad. We were walking along a beach on the lake shore and came upon 3 boys camping with a tent. They had a fire going and were frying sausages for their dinner. They were laughing and joking and drinking cans.

One ever saw them alive again after that. They took a boat out to the lake and all drowned. No one knows what really happened."

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25. Solo

Instagram | @thebookwrangler

"My childhood best friend is currently missing since August 30th. I live in a different state now, but my last text to him was about classic WOW and playing it together," this person writes, "I still don’t know how it’s affecting me, but I miss him so much. He went missing on a hike, so my only message to people is please try not to hike solo."

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26. Unsolved Murder

Unsplash | Lacie Slezak

"I was one of the last friends in contact with a friend of mine who was murdered," this person shares, "After a botched police investigation and 2 additional murders, police charged two individuals with her murder and they were ultimately convicted of first-degree murder even though her body was never found."

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27. Winter's Bone

Instagram | @hopesammel

"I was on a winter hike on a snowy trail," this person shares, "You didn't need snowshoes, but good traction was a must for sure. Anyway, we are on our way back, it's about an hour before it starts getting dark and about a mile from the trailhead and a trail runner passes us going into the woods! We mention it's gonna get dark soon but she just brushes us off.

Saw her in the news a few days later as missing. It's been a few years since then and they never found her body."

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28. Work Friends

Instagram | @airportinteriors

"Co-worker died last weekend," this person writes, "I talked to him on Thursday, co-worker talked to him on phone on Friday. Said he be late for work. Never showed up."

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29. The Quarry

Instagram | @fossillhunter_charlotte

"One of the people I knew went to see us during lunch break, which was weird because his new school was like 40 km away and he didn’t take the bus," this person writes, "He looked kinda happy, so we just thought that he missed us.

They did find him, well his body at the bottom of the quarry that was close to the school."

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30. The Neighbor

Instagram | @burbsonfilm

"I saw my old neighbor in the night with my dad one night," this person shares, "He was laughing and joking. The next day, he died in the hospital. They say it was a heart attack that got him."

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31. The Streak

Unsplash | Thought Catalog

"I met a girl online and we started talking and hit it off pretty well," this person writes, "We lived far away from each other so the only way of communication we used was Snapchat. I was walking home from school one day and she asked me if I wanted to play games with her on discord which we had talked about before, but I told her I had a test the next day and I didn't have time and she said its fine and good luck.

The next day after I finished the test I sent her a snap if she was down to play today but no response. I assumed she was just busy or ghosted me but then several days go by and I realized her snap score wasn't increasing so I looked her up on Facebook just to see RIP posts.

To this day I don't know whether she killed herself or if something else happened."

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32. The Cottage

Instagram | @schweitzerkenneth

"I was the last one to see my dad leaving to go to our summer cottage," this person reveals, "He didn't return for like 3 weeks, and then we found out that he was in hospital for a failed overdose attempt."

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33. The Chute

Instagram | @that_one_kid_audrey

"My dad and his wife were the last people to talk to a parachuter before he took off and they started walking down the mountain," this person writes, "A few minutes later he flew over them and my dad's wife said it would be so cool to try that one day.

"A few minutes later, his chute gets caught in the wind and he loses control and just smacks against the side of the mountain."

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34. Suicidal Veterans

Unsplash | Ian Espinosa

"A friend of mine who is retired military told me a story about his friend who also served. He and this guy didn't really know each other but served together. They went out for drinks and then just drove around bullshitting. Eventually, my friend dropped him off and the guy killed himself that night. Didn't really go missing but he was still the last to see him. It messed my friend up really bad." — AwkwardPolitics

Suicide rates are very high amongst those returning from active combat; however, there are charities out there for those needing help, such as Combat Stress.

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35. A Flashlight In The Woods

Instagram | hikylewhite

"About 3 years ago a girl around the same age as me went missing [...] by day 3, they finally find her body (hanging) not too deep in the woods off a nearby road. They determined she killed herself 3 nights prior. (Died June 3rd, found June 6th)

"On the night of June 3rd, I was feeling sad and decided to go for a ride around our little community. And as I'm driving around the area she was later found in, I see a what I think is an iPhone flashlight in the woods [...] I have come to conclusion that she was on her way to kill herself, and was using her iPhone flashlight cause it was night time (obviously)" — Reignxvii

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36. Kidnapping Gone Wrong

Instagram | auto_prizrak

"My former partner. He went out one night and around 11 pm hadn't called or text, so I called him and the police had his phone.

"It was a kidnapping but went wrong. His car was in the middle of a street. He was killed. It would be his birthday this Thursday. I miss talking with him the most." — Fingerhut89

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37. They May Never Have Said Goodbye

Instagram | hritculili

"Not sure if this counts, but I was at college and became friends with a person who's in a wheelchair. Went our separate ways on Friday and on Monday morning we found out she died over the weekend. The thing is that I can't remember if I said goodbye to her on Friday." — SkeletonYeti713

This one really makes you think, how often do we really consider whether we will see a loved one again when we part. It is simply natural to just assume we will see them again I suppose.

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38. Wandered Off At A Party

Unsplash | Michael Discenza

"I was the last person at our company to see him. I used to work at Mason Shoes in Wisconsin as a summer job. I got to know this kid who had just graduated from High School, we would spend our lunch hours with him regaling me with stories of how he got so drunk the previous weekend.

"On Monday he didn't show up to work after I dropped him off at home. About a week later he's on the front page of the city newspaper; he'd got drunk, wandered off from the party, and suffocated on his own vomit." — stupidillusion

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39. The Last Time They Saw Their Father

Instagram | beezeezone

"I am positive me and my little brother were the last ones to see my father alive. We were waiting for the school bus and saw him driving back home with a strange look on his face. We waved to him, but he didn’t wave back. After that, he went missing. A couple of weeks later, he was found dead hanging from a tree. It was a suicide." — BoxySoxy

Suicide is actually the main killer of men under 45 in the UK. There are plenty of initiatives out there that can help if you are struggling, you don't need to be alone.

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