How Missing Persons Bureau works
How to Find a Missing Person
When you believe a person in your life has disappeared, it's important to act quickly to set a search in motion. Start by calling the police department to file a missing persons report, then take measures to conduct your own search. If the person does not return home, you may need to alert the media and hire a private investigator. Read on to learn more about how to find a missing person.
Contacting the Police and Filing Reports
Contact the police as soon as you have reason to worry.
There is no mandatory waiting period for filing a missing person's report. The faster you notify the police that your loved one is missing, the faster they'll be able to begin searching. Go to your local police department to file a report.
• Understand that while calling the police is always the right first step to take when someone goes missing, the police are limited in what they can do to conduct a search, especially if the missing person is an adult. It is not illegal for a person to go missing.
Provide the police with information about the missing person.
In order to complete the missing persons report, you'll need to provide detailed information about the missing person's physical characteristics as well as where he or she was last seen. Have the following information ready when you go to the police station to file the report:
current photos of the person
• A physical description including height, weight, age, hair color, eye color, build, and so on.
• A description of the clothing and shoes the person was last seen wearing.
• A list of possessions the person might be carrying or articles on the person, like jewelry, glasses, contact lenses, accessories, a purse, a wallet, ID cards, and so on.
• A list of scars, tattoos, and other identifying characteristics.
• A list of medications the person was taking, allergies, handicaps, and other medical conditions.
• A list of people related to or friends with the missing person, along with contact information.
• A list of places the person frequents.
• A description of the car the person may be traveling in, or a different mode of transportation if applicable.
• A description of the situation surrounding the person's disappearance.
Keep a record of the report.
Make sure you obtain a case number for your missing person's report. Write down the name of the person in charge of your case. This will be the person you contact when you wish to follow up.
Contact the Missing Persons Bureau (MPB).
This service is operated by the Nri-Society, and it lets you upload information on MBP web site about a missing person so that MPB Help you by officials, agencies, and individuals can search the site. The site helps missing persons cases wrap up more quickly by providing this information to the public.
5 Register with other missing persons databases.
There are a number of other databases geared toward finding missing persons with specific characteristics. Consider registering with additional databases to gain access to a number of free services and resources to help you find your missing person.
• The Missing Person Bureau for Missing and Exploited Children specializes in providing services for families of children who are missing.
• The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides resources for families of people with mental illness who have gone missing.
• The National Health Care for the Homeless Council helps homeless people who are missing.
Conducting a Search
Contact the person's friends and acquaintances. Call the main people in the missing person's life and ask when they last saw him or her and whether they know anything about the person's whereabouts. In addition to calling friends, family members, and classmates, call teachers, doctors, dentists, bus drivers, coworkers, neighbors, and so on - anyone who had regular contact with the missing person.
• Keep a log of the people to whom you've spoken and what they had to say about the missing person. Keep it updated with as much detailed information as possible.
• Encourage people to call you back if they find out more information from another source.
• Report new findings to the case worker in charge of your missing persons case at the police department.
Check with hospitals and coroners in the area. If the missing person was in an accident, he or she might be in a local hospital and unable to communicate for some reason. In some tragic cases, a missing person will be found with a coroner or medical examiner. Call all facilities in your area to rule these possibilities out.
• When you make the calls, ask for the missing person by name.
• If no one by that name is on record there, ask if they have unidentified people in their care who resemble your missing person.
Check social media sites. This is an important way to gain information about the days leading up to the person's disappearance. Check his or her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts and determine whether recent activity contains any clues. Look at the missing person's friends' sites as well.
• Print out correspondence and activity that seems as though it could lead to the missing person's location.
• Report any activity that might be a clue to the case worker at the police department.
Put up fliers with a picture and description of the missing person. In many cases, the missing person will see the fliers and decide to return home. In other cases fliers can alert friends and neighbors who might have information about the missing person's whereabouts. Put up the fliers in the neighborhood where the missing person lived and around places where he or she spent time.
• Hang your posters in prominent locations, like gas stations, grocery stores, post offices, banks, drug stores, a local library, churches, hospitals, homeless shelters, parks and hiking trails.
• Be sure to include a recent, clear photograph of the missing person.
• Include the person's age, a physical description, and the date he or she went missing.
• Include contact information as well.
Getting Outside Parties Involved
Ask people to spread the word. Send out an email with a picture of the missing person and a request to pass the word around. Post a picture and description of the missing person on your social media pages and ask people to share. The more people who become aware that you're looking for a missing person, the better the chances of finding him or her.
Alert the local media. Getting the media involved is another important way to publicize the fact that you're looking for a missing person. The person may see the announcement and decide to return home, and others will be on the lookout for the missing person. Alerting the media may also cause the police department to devote more resources to solving the case.
• Send photos and videos of the missing person to your local TV stations.
• Call your local newspapers and ask them to publish an article on the missing person.
• Take out an ad in a weekly newspaper.
• Send information to local blogs and websites.
Consider hiring a private investigator. A private investigator, unlike the police department, will spend as much time as you want him to investigating your case. If you have the money, hiring an investigator is a good way to keep the search going when police are no longer spending as much time on it. Research private investigators in your area and work with one to find your missing person.
• Use photographs that are up close. Pictures of the missing person's face and upper body tend to work the best.
• Try to contact their phone and if you cannot, see who they called as see if they know anything. Also try to see if you can see what their card activity is.
How MPB Web site can help
When you call MPB, a Call Center specialist will record information about your missing person. A MPB(Missing Persons Bureau) case management team will next work directly with your family and the law enforcement agency investigating your case. They will offer technical assistance tailored to your case to help ensure all available search and recovery methods are used. As appropriate MPB case management teams:
- Rapidly create and disseminate posters to help generate leads.
- Rapidly review, analyze and disseminate leads received on THE-LOST (000-0000-0000) to the investigating law enforcement agency.
- Communicate with federal agencies to provide services to assist in the location and recovery of missing children.
- Provide peer support, resources and empowerment from trained volunteers who have experienced a missing child incident in their own family.
- Provide families with access to referrals they may use to help process any emotional or counseling needs.