Missing Friend
April 26, 2011 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Any ideas for finding a lost Chinese friend?

I live in China and a few years back (here) I had a very close friend in what was a somewhat tempestuous relationship (and partly romantic/physical). We frequently had disagreements and wouldn't speak, but we always eventually got back in touch. However for almost two years noww, I have heard absolutely nothing from him.

I have a feeling something possibly bad happened...maybe even that he passed away. I got in touch with some of his other friends, and none of them had heard from him dating from summer of 2009. I never see him on any chat programs, etc, and received no response from emails I sent awhile ago asking him to contact either me or one of his other friends to let us know he's ok. His old cell phone has been "power off" since the summer of 2009, and an on-online dating profile he had became inactive around that time. (I promise, I am no longer romantically interested in him- he's gay and I've since moved on besides. Just want to know whether he's alive)

I've searched for him online and the only stuff that comes up is older stuff that he was involved in, and not much at that. He didn't have many close friends so I can't think of anyone else to contact besides those I have already contacted. I only know his name (an uncommon name) and his hometown, a fairly large city.

I get that some may think he is just avoiding me, but even though he frequently would stop speaking to me over things, it never lasted long. And it wouldn't explain why his other friends hav't heard from him either. I am also pretty sure he would have contacted me by now out of curiosity. I suppose it's possible that he told his friends to tell me that they hadnt' heard from him, but I don't think that's likely. He wasn't close with many people and I was probably his closest friend. He also was not very emotionally stable. Our relationship/friendship was not really healthy so it would make sense for him to distance himself...but I really don't feel he is just avoiding me- I feel that something has happened to him.

Does anybody have any ideas about how I find out? Or ways to come to peace with this?
posted by bearette to Human Relations (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: ps- by "only know his name", I meant, I don't know the names of any of his family (besides surname).
posted by bearette at 8:55 PM on April 26, 2011


Do you know his address? Live in the same city?
posted by acidic at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2011


Response by poster: Don't know his address. I know where he used to work but one of his friends called that company last summer and they said he had already left; another friend of his told me that he had been trying to start his own company, at the end of the summer of 2009.

we no longer live in the same city.
posted by bearette at 10:49 PM on April 26, 2011


Best answer: I guess if you're really desperate you could send an email with a read receipt (or through DidTheyReadIt, which uses a tiny embedded pixel). But the email would have to be something that he would open, ie not something from you because perhaps he's ignoring all your emails. If he opens the email, or even has a phone or computer program that opens it automatically, I'd say that would mean that he is alive.

No comment on whether or not this is a good idea.
posted by acidic at 11:36 PM on April 26, 2011


Response by poster: thanks. I signed up with readnotify.com and already sent an email to all of his email addresses ....two of them came back as disabled.
posted by bearette at 12:22 AM on April 27, 2011


You mentioned that you've searched for him online, but does that include searching through the online social networks (i.e. Facebook, Renren, Kaixin001, 51.com, etc.)? Those seem like your best bet.
posted by qxrt at 6:29 AM on April 27, 2011


Response by poster: qxrt- thanks, I have tried that- no luck.

also, the emails have not been opened yet.
posted by bearette at 5:00 PM on April 27, 2011


Were you able to find him?
Do you know anything about the school he went to, or the places he used to work at? Contacting them may help. Try finding other people who knew him or the places he used to frequent. In any case I hope your friend is doing fine.
posted by snufkin5 at 11:07 AM on June 12, 2011


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