How to Report a Missing Person
If a person you care about is missing, you must help the authorities by filling out a report, providing him with important information and updating it as the situation develops. This is information you should know, but hopefully you never need it.
You don’t have to wait to contact the authorities
If you suspect that your loved one or friend is missing, contact the police immediately. Movies and TV shows have spread the myth that you have to wait 24 to 48 hours to report missing, but this is not the case for almost every US police station in the real world. Call your local law enforcement agency first on their non-emergency line so you can apply (you can also go to the police station to apply). But if you suspect foul play, you can use 911. And if a child is missing, call 911, then call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children : 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678). NO online registration – all reports must be done by phone or in person.
Not sure what is considered missing? Most police stations define a missing person as anyone who goes missing voluntarily or voluntarily. This includes runaway children, children abducted by their parents, elderly people in need of help, someone who may need medical attention, someone with a mental or physical disability, those you suspect may be victims of crime. and everyone who doesn’t try to run away or disappear, he left and lost contact.
Provide as much information as possible
When you file your report, make sure you provide them with as much information as possible. Even the smallest details can help, whether you think it or not. This handy checklist from the Association of Saskatchewan Police Chiefs outlines how much information you should be prepared to provide to local law enforcement when you apply:
- Basic information about the missing person : full name, date of birth, place of birth, aliases (if any), current and previous addresses (as well as who else lived there), current and former employers.
- Physical characteristics of the missing person : height, weight, age, physique, hair color / length, eye color, any distinguishing features (tattoos, birthmarks, scars, etc.), Beard / mustache / sideburns.
- Submit a photograph of the missing person : The photograph must be recent and clearly show his face, hair color and body type.
- Habits and Personality of the Missing Person : Smoker? Drinker? Recreational drugs? What about recreational activities or hobbies? In places where they often visit (cafes, banks, bars, shops, etc.)? Are they outgoing or withdrawn? What is their personal life philosophy or religion?
- Clothing the missing person was wearing the last time he was seen : indicate the style and color of his shirt, trousers, jacket or outerwear, hats, glasses, gloves, shoes, jewelry, etc.
- The missing person’s plans for the day of the disappearance : what activities have they planned for that day? Where did they go? Why? When? With whom? Did they come by car? If yes, please provide the make, model and license plate of the vehicle.
- Information about when the missing person was last seen : who saw him last? Where? When? What they were doing? What were they talking about?
- The general health and conditions of the missing person : Provide all known information about their physical and mental health, including disability, psychological problems, medications, addictions, etc. If they have a primary doctor, give his name and contact information.
- Potential people the missing person will contact : List all of the person’s friends, family and acquaintances, as well as their contact information.
As you can see, this is a lot of information that needs to be prepared. But it’s important not to hide the details. Perhaps law enforcement will extract compelling evidence from one seemingly useless information about the missing person’s habits or acquaintances. However, don’t wait to call and report if you don’t have all of this information at your fingertips. You can provide additional information as it becomes available.
Keep a thorough journal
After you’ve filed a missing report, start keeping a journal or journal of everything that happens. Anything you do or study should be logged. This log may include:
- Missing person case number.
- Contact information of the investigator leading the search.
- Information you provided to the police.
- Information that you have collected, but which still needs to be reported to the police.
- Information provided to you by local law enforcement during the search.
It helps keep it all in one place so you can easily access and share it.
Prepare a set of tips for the authorities
Once you have access to the missing person’s living quarters and personal belongings, start collecting a set of evidence in case the authorities ask you to. This kit should include :
- Items that can be used for DNA testing : Things like a hairbrush, toothbrush, or underwear in case investigators might need to do a DNA test.
- Any Gadgets Left : If they left behind any phones, computers, or tablets, take them. They may have contacted someone through a text message, phone call, or social network.
- Personal documents : bank statements, credit card statements, invoices, etc.
- Journals or Diaries : Keeping a personal journal of their daily lives can provide useful clues about where they might have gone or who they were hanging out with.
A set of hints may never be needed or never will, but just in case it is better to prepare it sooner rather than later.
Until then, keep looking for yourself.
You have to leave all the hard work to the local authorities, but that doesn’t mean you have to do nothing while you wait. Make sure you keep trying to contact them directly using multiple communication methods (text message, phone call, social media, instant messaging, email, etc.), and call their friends and acquaintances regularly to inquire, find out whether they have anything (or remember something they forgot before). Write down all your activities – whether they lead to something or not – in your journal.
You can also create and distribute flyers, inquire about places the missing person has regularly visited, and contact local newspapers and news sites / blogs about posting a missing person announcement.