Investigating Disappeared Individuals

Investigating disappeared individuals is often difficult. Corrupt authorities can hide information or even collaborate with criminals.


In these cases, it is important to keep vigilance high and spread awareness. Here are some simple ways you can help:

1. Gather Information

There are a number of things you can do to help find a disappeared person. One way is to alert the media. This is important because it makes police more likely to devote time to the case and it can help spread the word about the disappearance to a larger audience. Another way is to get your community involved by encouraging discussions in schools and community centers about the issue. Finally, you can donate or volunteer for organizations that specialize in helping missing persons.

Other things you can do include creating a missing person flyer with recent photos, physical descriptions and any other identifying features, as well as a list of the person’s belongings such as clothing, jewelry, medication, important mail, cell phone and identification papers. Hanging these flyers in places where the missing person is known to frequent, such as hospitals, banks and post offices can be helpful.

It is important to keep in mind that people can go missing for a variety of reasons, not just because of foul play. Some adults, for example, have gone missing in the past because they felt they weren’t getting the attention they deserved.

2. Contact Local Law Enforcement

In many cases, when a person goes missing local law enforcement will have some of the most up to date information. They will also be able to offer tips and resources to help find the missing individual.

However, it’s important to know that every police agency has its own policies and procedures on how missing person cases are handled. This includes the initial response and how much priority is placed on a disappearance. Some agencies require 24 hours before they begin to investigate a missing person while others are more immediate.

If you think the missing person is endangered, make sure to notify the police immediately. This can help put pressure on the police department to investigate and enlist additional resources. It’s also a good idea to contact local media channels. With enough press attention, the police may re-think their decision not to investigate. If possible, try to get volunteers to assist with search efforts. This can include people from the local community and organizations like the Polly Klass Foundation or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

4. Check Financial Transactions

Missing persons investigations often involve contacting companies that are involved with the missing individual. This may include banks and credit card companies. While companies are not legally obliged to assist with a missing person search, they can sometimes pause direct debits, suspend interest payments and offer other support. Knowing when a person last accessed their accounts assists with constructing a timeline of their disappearance and may lead to useful information being discovered by investigators. In addition, if a missing person is deemed high-risk, the Red Cross can help with this process. They can offer practical assistance and legal advice. To find out more, click here.