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6 Ways To Locate A Missing Person

When a friend or a loved one is missing, all sorts of thoughts circulate through your mind about what could have happened. The first thing you need to do is to contact the police department and file a missing person report. Though you can file a police report at any time, they police allow some time to see if the person turns up before conducting a search. The standard time to wait is 24 hours.

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Some people disappear deliberately to avoid the law or some sort of marital troubles. However, there are many cases that involve foul play and loved ones become victims of a crime. If you have a loved one missing, time is of the essence. There are some ways that you can try to track them down on your own. Of course hiring a private investigation service is always advisable, but here are six things you can do to help your family member out.

1. Track Social Media Accounts

Most people check social media several times a day. Because things are so automated now, people put their life's history up on social media boards. This should be the first place you check after you call the police. Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are popular and allow people to branch out and connect with their friends and family across the globe. Sites like these allow you to see the last time that someone logged in, as well as their last postings. Check these sites for any activity. It could mean that the person is still alive and utilizing their accounts. Look for clues posted to their walls or anything that seems out of the ordinary. They could be signalling for help. Facebook has location trackers too that allow a person to "check-in" at their last destination. Social media is excellent for finding someone's last whereabouts.

Missing Person

2. Do a Cell Phone Check

Cell phone services have the ability to track a phone, especially if the phones are linked to one account. Using satellite technology, the phone can be traced. There are also many apps that will give you the location of the other cell phone if the other person grants permission. It's worth the small cost to download the app and to try to make contact. If someone is in trouble they will gladly want you to identify their phone's location. However, it's a long shot that has sometimes paid off big. Be sure to give their cell phone number to the police too. Also, keep calling the number and see if it rings or just goes straight to voicemail.

3. Check With Neighbours and Friends

One of the easiest things to do that will probably yield the most information is to check in with neighbours and see what they saw. If they live in an area where the neighbours are bustling about, they should be able to tell you quite a bit. If they have seen no activity, it's a good sign that they are not there. If all else fails check with the landlord if renting and see if they left. If they have left and don't want to be bothered, they could have ended their lease and moved. It's all about putting the clues together to try to find out what happened. On the other side of the spectrum, friends are another great resource to call. If this person has a best friend, they should know their every move. Call around to friends and see if they have anything useful in the investigation.

4. Retrace Their Last Steps

Part of any good investigation is to retrace a person's last steps. If they had a date previously who was it with and where did they go? Find out any and all information and start putting together a timeline. This will help you be able to reduce the locations where they are not and show which areas still need to be researched.

Locate A Missing Person

5. Call The Hospitals and Morgue

Because we're human, we always think the worst when it comes to our loved ones and their absence. If they have been in a car wreck or something unimaginable has happened, the best places to look are the hospital and the morgue. Sometimes people check into the hospital during an emergency situation and they may not have any identification on them. If they are unconscious they cannot confirm their identity. Calling around to all the hospitals can give you some definitive answers. Keep in mind that these places won't give specifics to just anyone over the phone, but it will certainly be a good place to investigate.

6. Spread the Word and Alert Media

The more people that know about the missing loved one, the better the chances of getting some answers. Hang flyers around town that have a recent picture and a description with contact information. Some people offer reward money to allow anyone with information to come forward. The media can be an excellent outlet to reach the masses very quickly. Though you probably don't want to alert the media if they have only been gone for one day, they can be a great source for cases that are ongoing. Flyers, media alerts and anyway else possible to get the word out can only be helpful.

The emotions are all over the place when someone you love is missing. While it's hard to stay positive, it is best to keep looking and searching for answers. Until there is a body, the person is presumed to be alive. Try not to think of the worst case scenario and hope for the best. Because these tasks can be a bit overwhelming, having a private investigator helping out is ideal. They have a connection with the media, newspapers and other outlets that can make the job of finding your loved one easier. Investigators have the ability to go one step further with things like email tracing. The important thing is to find your loved one however you can. That includes using resources at your disposal. The longer they are gone, the harder it is to find out exactly what happened. The first 24 hours is crutial in a missing person's case.
 
 

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