Missing Persons Investigation

A missing persons investigation is a detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding the unknown whereabouts of an individual. These investigations are usually some of the most complex assignments for detectives.

Many family members turn to the police when a loved one is lost. 흥신소 But they will often be told that 24 hours must pass before they can file a report.

What to Expect

Missing persons cases are among the most complex and emotionally challenging assignments that law enforcement officers can face. This is because of the difficulty in locating missing individuals while meeting difficult legal and ethical obligations. As a result, most police departments provide extensive training to their missing persons investigators.

During the information gathering stage of a missing person case, it is important to keep detailed records and notes about all avenues of inquiry. In addition, keep a log of all contacts with family members and friends. This will help to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts.

It is also helpful to keep a list of the missing individual’s social media contact names and numbers, as well as any cell phone numbers that they might have. Personal calendars and newspaper event listings can also be helpful to provide to police. In addition, make sure to provide a current photo of the missing individual.

If a person has gone missing under suspicious circumstances, police may do an expedited search or issue a BOLO bulletin. This is especially true for those with health issues, age, or who might be a victim of foul play. In addition, a missing child is considered to be at high risk and may require an Amber or Silver alert. Immediately report the missing person to your local police department. Ask them to enter your missing loved one into the NCIC.

Gathering Information

There are many avenues of enquiry to explore during a missing persons investigation. Keeping records and notes about each one of these is key to understanding what may have happened to the missing person. Flow charts are particularly useful in this instance.

Police should be open to enquiries from family members and other close associates of the missing person. Enquiries about the missing person from friends should also be considered, especially those related to their movements and where they were known to leave money or other items behind. Obtaining previous bills or bank statements could provide further clues as to where the person has been.

Social media sites may prove to be an extremely valuable source of information, particularly when people disappear owing to their intent to change identity. It is recommended that these sites be contacted (via the force/agency communications data single point of contact) to request assistance in identifying where the missing person may have been last seen. This is especially important in cases of suspected child abduction.

Enquiries with organisations that help people find lost children or other vulnerable individuals (such as those involved in human trafficking, exploitation and slavery) should be made where appropriate. However, these should be proportionate and based on a realistic assessment of the circumstances of the case. All sightings should be recorded and a method of grading and summarising these should be employed to assist prioritisation.

Interviewing Relatives

Missing persons investigations often involve a great deal of interviews with family members, which can be very distressing. Interviewing relatives in such cases can lead to the revelation of information that might be useful to investigators, and it can also increase a sense of urgency for the investigation. Some of the resources below offer advice for preparing and conducting such interviews.

It is important to build up a comprehensive picture of an individual’s family, friends, activities, hobbies and habits (or ‘lifestyle’) as early on in the investigation as possible. This can help guide enquiries and contribute to risk assessments. This will sometimes require the use of specialist techniques, such as computer-based enquiries, to gain access to live communications data.

Whether or not the police can legally access this data will depend on the circumstances of the case. However, such enquiries should be proportionate, based on a realistic assessment of the person’s circumstances.

In most cases, the missing person will be located or returned safely within a short period of time. However, some cases may be long term and it is important that the family or carers are kept up to date on progress and reassured that enquiries are continuing. It is also important to consider the impact on the family and carers in such cases. This is particularly relevant where a presumption of death application will be made.

Keeping Records

Throughout the investigation it is vital that investigators keep records of all lines of enquiry and hypothesis. There will likely be several different avenues of enquiry for locating missing persons and keeping all the details in one place can save a lot of time and effort if the case is complex.

Investigators may hire a private investigator to perform background checks, track cell phone usage or bank accounts, and search online databases for clues. They may also use other methods, such as surveillance, to locate the missing person.

While database searches are important, the main source of evidence is in human sources and interviewing those who knew the person. Visiting the person’s last known address and going through their property, diaries, internet history and literature can provide insight into their hobbies, interests and habits.

Missing person investigations can be complicated and lengthy, and can involve a number of different agencies. It is essential that those conducting the investigation are experienced and professional.