seven-years’-absence rule. The principle that a person who has been missing without explanation for at least seven years is legally presumed dead. Cf. ENOCH ARDEN LAW.

“[I]n the United States, it is quite generally held or provided by statute that a presumption of death arises from the continued and unexplained absence of a person from his home or place of residence without any intelligence from or concerning him for the period of 7 years. The presumption has been regarded as a procedural expedient and a rule of evidence.” 22A Am. Jur. 2d Death § 551, at 527 (1988).