The right to the truth is often mentioned in conjunction with missing persons cases and is recognized for its propensity to function as an enabling right, helping victims and families to claim their rights. While families, survivors, communities, specialist agencies, NGOs and international organizations readily invoke the right to the truth, the terminology used in the context can be ambiguous, overlapping, mandate-driven or strategic. This contribution reflects on the applicable legal spheres, use of approaches and practices in the context of missing persons investigations and claims made towards the realization of the right to the truth. The article clarifies the legal landscape to underscore what is meant by the right to the truth and how it may function as the starting point for the realization of other rights in the context of missing persons. Further, it examines and dissects conceptualizations of missing persons and resolution efforts; and identifies what actions help realize the right to the truth and to what extent. It argues the merits of a broad definition of missing persons while urging those engaged in solving missing persons cases to be candid in respect of the truth-seeking aspect they may be able to advance. This is by no means a trivial inquiry, for families of the missing rely on the assistance of the law and relevant agencies to further the realization of their right to the truth.