Cold Case Highlights Danger of Stalkers

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CNN's Nancy Grace recently aired a special on "Cold Cases," about old police cases that it is hoped could still be solved if new information is found. By now, everyone has heard of the case of Natalee Holloway, who disappeared while on vacation in Aruba in 2005. There are, sadly, many such cold cases to be investigated, such as the case of Kara Kopetsky.

Kara was seventeen when she disappeared in her home town of Belton, MO in 2007. Her relatives believe her abusive ex-boyfriend is responsible, but the police don't have enough evidence in the case to proceed.

Kara's ex-boyfriend had been stalking her, and had allegedly abducted her on April 28, 2007. She jumped out of the moving vehicle to escape and had a restraining order placed against him after his arrest. Kara went missing on May 7, 2007, the Friday before the court date regarding the abduction.

The reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Kara has been increased to $80,000, and while her family and friends certainly hope to find her alive and well, there has been no activity on her cell phone or bank account since the day she disappeared. This case highlights the worst case scenario of having a stalker. While Kara knew her stalker, that is not always the case.

If you're getting threatening phone calls or text messages from an unknown phone number, you may be able to find out who is behind that number with a reverse phone lookup. That is an online search where you simply enter the phone number, and public records are checked for a match, so you can find out the name and address of who has been calling or texting you.

The stalking might not be as overt as actual threats, though. Repeated hang ups or "wrong number" calls could also be a sign of someone's unwanted attention, and should be noted down and communicated with others. If you find that person's name, you can then research them for a criminal record. You might also be able to find a photo of them, and be able to recognize someone you've noticed hanging around lately.

Proactive behavior and peace of mind go hand-in-hand.