Once you believe that someone in your life is missing, it’s essential to start acting immediately to begin the search in motion. You can start by reporting the issue to the police to file the report of the missing person. After that, make sure you take measures to perform your search. In case the person fails to come back home, you can go a step ahead by hiring a private investigator or alert the media about the same.
By taking proper steps quickly, you’ll have a high chance of getting the lost person. But here are some of the things to do if you want to find a missing person.
1. File The Missing Person’s Information
The first thing to do when a person goes missing and perhaps the person is in danger is filing their report. In emergency cases or instances of a missing child, you can call 911. The police perform a quick search that helps in uncovering the possible location of the missing person.
But if there’s no apparent reason to doubt the foul play and the person missing is an adult, you can as well visit the police station where the person last lived. After that, the missing person’s information is included in a database that other police departments can access all over the country.
Once done with filing a police report, make sure you record the case number plus the officer’s name to help you reach out as required to receive updates on the filed case.
2. Reach Out to Jails, Local Hospitals, And Coroners
Contacting coroners, prisons, and local hospitals in the missing person’s jurisdiction is also an essential step to take if a special person goes missing.
With this step, you can easily rule out incarceration, accidents, and deaths before going far with the search.
If you think the missing person has been incarcerated, get in touch with the nearest police station. It’s also good to visit several hospitals all over during the search. Once you think of calling, make sure you give an accurate description of the looks of the missing person.
In case the person involved in an accident and was taken to the hospital without an ID, then the hospital wont to know their identity yet. Finally, ensure you inquire from the local coroner to be sure that the missing person is not deceased.
3. Undertake an Online Search
Many thanks to Google for being an answer to everything. Therefore, before taking your time to explore the more stressful ways to trace back the missing person, give Google search a trial first using the current information concerning the missing person.
This will work best if you have the name of the missing person. However, any other simple piece of information will easily uncover the person’s whereabouts plus their details.
You can also visit sites like MyLife.com or White pages, where you’ll get a directory that provides the currently collected phone numbers, age of the person, and their addresses. However, this information may not be up-to-date.
4. Check On Online Directories
When it comes to online directories, many resources are used to gather people’s information. In case this is found on the web, the sites will only provide the email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, first and last names. But some of the online directories require payment to use their database.
5. Make Use of Social Media
Facebook is currently a popular tool for searching for missing persons. Sometimes runaways may develop on Facebook pages or even remain active on their previous pages. This can assist their loved ones in contact with the missing person.
However, sometimes it’s good to circulate the missing person’s photo accompanied by many details as possible. Make sure you fix in the identity marks, the clothing color that the last used, plus the last-known place the missing person was.
The good news is; the smallest form of information you provide about the missing person will help locate them. Finally, place a call to action to distribute the missing person’s photo all over the web. Pictures can reach thousands of people countrywide within a short time.
Also, you can check the last time the missing person appeared on Instagram. If the person was active on social media, then this can be the best indicator of the last time they went missing. To have access to this information, move directly to your message inbox, then dial on the previous talk you had with them. Just on the Instagram handle, you’ll find the last time the missing person’s last seen.
6. Post Their Pictures On Local Places
If you think that the life of the missing person is in danger, it’s essential to post their pictures on local points such as churches, parks, coffee shops, and hospitals. If it’s an organization or a business that you wish to pot the flyers at, make sure you have the permit first.
7. Find Them Using Their Phone’s Location
Luckily if you are looking for another person, location-sharing is an incredible way to find them easily. When the missing person is a family member, it’s likely that a close person once accessed their phone’s location.
Most iPhone users have a friend and family sharing option that they can access using iCloud. Therefore, if the missing person had activated the app on their phone, you can easily track them.
Additionally, Find My Friends app found on both iOS and Android to locate the missing person. In case they share their location with you, that will make things easier as you’ll view the location of their phone. And that’s likely where they are.
You can also use Snapchat. This feature is essential in finding the missing person’s location on the app. But it’s not that accurate like Find My Friends or Family sharing app.
If you don’t know the person’s location on the phone, you can ask one of their family members or friends. But this depends on the situation. In case the missing person is in danger, the police can move an extra step ahead. The police will go to the cell phone company to find the missing person’s location.
8. Hire a Private Investigator
Lastly, if you can’t find the missing person using the free resources above, then hire a private investigator. While this may be a bit costly, tracing the missing person can be worth the money. A private investigator has all the connections in hospitals and police departments. Furthermore, the investigator has experience in uncovering information that you may not have thought of before.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.