In the highly connected world we live in it's almost impossible to disappear without a trace. There is an excellent book called How to Disappear by Frank Ahearn. From Amazon "How to Disappear is the authoritative and comprehensive guide for people who seek to protect their privacy as well as for anyone who’s ever entertained the fantasy of disappearing—whether actually dropping out of sight or by eliminating the traceable evidence of their existence.
Written by the world’s leading experts on finding people and helping people avoid being found, How to Disappear covers everything from tools for disappearing to discovering and eliminating the nearly invisible tracks and clues we tend to leave wherever we go. Learn the three keys to disappearing, all about your electronic footprints, the dangers and opportunities of social networking sites, and how to disappear from a stalker."
I have read the book a number of times and one of the worst ways to disappear is to fake your own death. The other thing is when a person suddenly disappears what happens is there is always someone in that persons circle of friends who becomes completely obsessed with the case. In Gerald Cottons case we have a situation where many highly intelligent people from around the world are on the case and becoming obsessed by it. If this is an exit scam - (which many people including myself believes it probably is)and if Cotton is still alive then it's only a matter of time before he is found and brought to justice.
Everything about the case is suspicious and it reeks of an exit scam. Apply the duck test: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
Highly recommended reading on that topic and why you neither need that nor it would be very advisable: