For any family, the disappearance of a loved one can cause immense emotional and personal turmoil. For missing persons cases, hiring a Private Investigator can be of great benefit in assisting the affected family to find the missing person, or at least develop sufficient information to provide closure.
While it is highly appropriate and necessary for family members to contact the local authorities as soon as there is a suspicion that a person has been abducted or has disappeared under questionable circumstances, individuals do need to remember police response can vary, based on the circumstances and the age of the individual, as well as limited police resources.
- Missing children’s cases will receive priority, and cases where abduction is suspected will also remain a hot case.
- Teenager disappearances are still given precinct priority, but these frequently involve a 24 hour lag period before an investigation is started, as runaway activity can be a common motive for disappearance.
- For individuals who are over the age of 18, police reports can generally not be filed until the person has been missing for at least 48 hours.
People do need to remember that while local authorities are dedicated to service and to aiding families, missing persons cases that have no distinct leads, and no clear evidence of foul play, can also cut into limited department resources. The result can be frustration for everyone involved, and this does not lead to resolution or closure.
After speaking with the police, families in this situation should consider hiring a Private Investigator during the earliest stages of the disappearance, as time may be of the essence. Retaining a private investigator as early as possible can help to insure that leads are followed up on while most current. Doing so can often provide essential information to both the family and law enforcement.
Staying Focused On the Goal
Since the disappearance of a loved one is a highly emotional situation, we understand that remaining focused on important details that can aid the search can seem overwhelming. For that reason, we recommend that family members compile the following information about the individual in order the help the Private Investigator to get started on the case as quickly and efficiently as possible:
- Name, age, and date of birth of the missing person
- Any known aliases
- Social Security Number
- Last known address, or any alternate addresses
- Places where the individual is known to frequent
- Last time and place that the missing individual was seen
- Clothing that the individual was last seen wearing
- Current pictures of the individual, as well as details on distinguishing marks and a physical description (such as tattoos, piercings, eye color, hair color, approximate height and weight, and any unusual physical features)
- Regular habits
- Descriptions of behaviors or actions prior to disappearance
- Names and contact information for known friends, significant other, acquaintances or associates, and employer.
This vital information can not only help an investigator in following a trail, but it can also help family members to recall other pertinent details that may have been forgotten in the initial shock of the situation.
While retaining a Private Investigator as soon as possible after a disappearance can preserve vital time in recovering the individual, it can also establish a beneficial collaboration between the police and the extra resources that an Investigator can offer. These measures can be some of the most effective and appropriate ones to take when a loved one has gone missing.