The thought of a family member, friend, or somebody else you care about vanishing can be frightening. You have no idea where they are, if they are hurt, or if they require assistance. When this person has a mental health disorder, the situation can become even worse. It is possible to make a difference by acting quickly.
According to the National Institute of Justice, there are up to 100,000 active missing person cases in the United States on any given day, with thousands and thousands of those people disappearing under questionable circumstances. When law enforcement fails to produce answers about their missing loved ones, where do people turn?
A practical guide to Searching for a missing person. Someone you know is missing. Time is of the essence and efficiency is crucial. Here are some things to do right now.
- Report the person as missing
- Write down everything you know
- Enlist people to help you
- Create a poster and distribute it
There will be constraints like time, money and skills. Be realistic about how much you are able to take on and delegate where you can.
There are lots ways of communicating your urgency. Try to stay positive – about 95% of missing Texans are found within a month.
- Reestablish contact with media
- Create new print materials
- Grow the web presence
- Contact NamUs
- Start managing their affairs
Cold cases are typically defined as criminal investigations in which all known leads have been pursued and the case has come to a halt or a dead end due to inconclusive forensic evidence or any witnesses that may render the case redundant, leading nowhere. A long term search for a missing person is tough. It’s a type of grief very few can understand, but there are people and resources that can help.
- Expand the search
- Contact the Family Tracing Service
- Have an age progression image made
- Apply to have an inquest opened
Missing Person Investigator
Detectives and crime victims often experience deep disappointment and frustration when a crime trial goes cold because the evidence will be re-examined again and again until a new lead emerges, which determines whether further scientific analysis is required.
When complexities need to be solved and loved ones need to be found, loved ones hire missing person investigators. Unlike law enforcement officials, who must follow a strict set of laws when searching for missing people (many of which are quite narrow), missing person investigators are free to take on any type of missing person case, including those that are considered cold cases by law enforcement or are not considered missing person cases at all.
A cold case can be reactivated in a variety of ways, but in broad sense, these cases may involve the discovery of some new information that necessitates further investigation. In some cases, police departments assign an investigator to evaluate cold cases and find the evidence to reopen the case.
Missing person investigators use a variety of resources to locate missing people. They may pay informants, scour the Web and public databases for information about the case, examine police records, and continue pursuing leads wherever they can find them. They may question witnesses, conduct background checks, and employ a variety of investigative techniques, such as surveillance, to track down missing people.