Basic Step How to find a Missing Person by yourself with assistance from a Missing Persons Investigator When a loved one goes missing, panic as well as worry sets in. Although no one wants to think about the possibility of having a loved one go missing, if the worst does happen, being prepared can drastically improve the chances of finding the missing person quickly. For parents, especially, having a toolkit is essential for peace of mind. Knowing what to do and where to turn when the worst happens is imperative. In cases where a loved one has Alzheimer’s or another condition that can mean they can get lost easily, being prepared only makes sense. There are some basic steps you can use that may help you find them by yourself.
THE FAMILY MEETING During this time of turmoil for your family it is important to focus on a family gathering and meeting. Understanding all you can about the recent demeanor of the missing can preface the investigation into the right forward steps to determining a theory and potentially locating the family member. Rather than running mindlessly in erratic directions and calling all the wrong people we want to help you focus on the proper direction of the investigation.
Profiling the missing person first provides law enforcement and your family much needed guidance. When a family member goes missing the entire family should draw together for a meeting. The IMMEDIATE meeting should involve open conversations about any recent communication each family member may have had with the missing family member. This important IMMEDIATE meeting could take place over the phone or in a family setting in person. You may access a number of free conference call websites (www.freeconferencecall.com) that could be setup where the entire family could access and connect by web or telephone.
FAMILY MEETING QUESTIONS TO CONFRONT The missing person’s siblings (sometimes siblings know each other better then parents.) should discuss the following questions in the meeting: 1. Did the missing person have any problems recently with paying off debt or having several problems with debt from recent years? 2. Were there any drug or alcohol addictions? 3. Did the missing person have any problems with a recent breakup from his/her partner? 4. Has the missing person ever been diagnosed with any sort of mental illness such as Depression, Schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease? 5. Has the missing person ever been a victim of domestic violence, a victim of crime such as burglary or robbery, rape, human trafficking, or any other sexual offense? 6. Had the missing person had any recent problems at the workplace such as violence with a co-worker, disagreements with supervisors or co-workers, or recently been terminated? 7. Has the missing person ever been diagnosed by as homicidal or suicidal? 8. Does the missing person have any criminal history, specifically drug trafficking, human trafficking, or felony offenses? 9. In recent months has the missing person discussed to family members if they were thinking of taking a long trip. If so, where and for how long. 10. Has the missing person recently met anyone online or on the street abruptly?
This is especially important for teenage girls and young women whom could be a potential victim for being lured into human trafficking in the US or even on a travel abroad trip. What family member talks to the missing person most frequently and how frequent?
THE DECISION TO FILE A MISSING PERSONS REPORT After discussing the questions above and determining if the lack of communication from the missing person is uncommon behavior then this warrants a call to law enforcement and filing a missing persons report. CONTACTING LAW ENFORCEMENT The family must contact the law enforcement agency logistically in accordance to the last location in which the person was either living, vacationing, or visiting. Be sure to inform the on-duty officer taking the report that this is erratic and unusual behavior of the missing person. Be sure to have information ready for law enforcement. The missing persons information such as: 1. SSN 2. DOB 3. Accurate Physical Description such things as 4. Height 5. Weight 6. Hair color 7. Eye color 8. Tattoos 9. Scars 10. Last known clothing that was worn at time of disappearance 11. Prepare a list of friends, associates, employment information 12. Other pertinent information for law enforcement YOUR OWN AMBER ALERT FOR YOUR MISSING FAMILY MEMBER Guessing if law enforcement will get involved and assist your family is a complicated and sometimes a social justice issue. If your family member is an adult then law enforcement will hopefully assess it properly for you and understand that Kristen’s Law requires law enforcement to enter the subject in their NCIC database. However, your family should not rely completely on law enforcement.
Here are some preliminary investigative tasks that require phone calls: 1. Jails in the area 2. Psychiatric Units at Hospitals and Private Facilities in the area 3. Hotels in the area 4. Friends and Associates nationwide 5. Transportation depots such airlines, bus routes, taxi services, and train rail or subway system. 6. Homeless shelters in the area Contacting the above will assist your family in the preliminary stages of the investigation covering emergency facilities such as hospitals and unfortunate arrests or possible commitments to psychiatric units. Hotels and homeless shelters are vital sources for searching when there are NO suspicions of foul play. A number of people homeless are suffering from bi-polar or schizophrenia and simply cannot make accurate judgments without their medication.