How to Find a Missing Person?
With the increased difficulty of leaving civilization, what can be done when a friend or family member disappears without a trace? The absence of a loved one is one of life’s most heartbreaking experiences. Whether the loss was recent or faraway, the anguish and the unanswered questions remain static. Looking for a long-lost friend can feel like a hopeless cause at times.
No matter the scenario, it is possible to find a missing person without having to shell out the money for private investigators.
Seek information from a database
NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, is a database utilized by police departments around the country to aid in searching for missing persons. The database is accessible to the public, and anyone who signs up for NamUs can contribute their entries. It is the Department of Justice that oversees NamUs.
Post a free ad
Free classified advertising on websites like Craigslist can be used for many situations. Helping find missing persons is one of these. Create a photo ad and distribute it across all these platforms in the areas where the target audience can be found. Encourage individuals to spread the word in person and online by including a link to a website or social media page. Keep track of where you posted the ads to take them down once the person is located.
Consult your local media outlets
This one is strictly for people worried about the individual they are trying to find. Maybe News Channel 21 isn’t the ideal place to look for the father of your child who is behind on child support payments. You should work with the media to tell your story and share images and information about the missing person if you have already made a police report and the person has not been found. If viewers have information that could aid the investigation, the outlet will usually provide a tip line or phone number they can call directly.
Put in a call to the emergency rooms, jails, and medical examiners
If someone has disappeared recently, you should also contact medical facilities, correctional facilities, and coroners in the area where they were last seen. In this approach, you can narrow the possibilities to just those likely to be the case, such as an accident, death, or imprisonment. It’s easy to find out if someone is in jail; call the police department that serves the area where they were last seen. You may get more information about the process of locating an inmate here.
Look it up on the Internet
Every question can be answered by searching Google. To track down a missing person, you should first see if a quick Google search using the information at hand turns up any leads. You may be able to learn more about the person’s whereabouts with even a small tidbit of information, such as their name (which you hopefully have). A person’s most up-to-date address, phone number, and age will typically be displayed on a directory site like White Pages or MyLife.com. Sadly, though, this data is frequently out of date.
Do a social media search
If talking to someone you know well doesn’t provide any results, or if you don’t have anyone to talk to, you should turn your attention to the Internet. Find and open any social media accounts associated with the missing person. Begin with the most popular sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you are already following the person, you should look through their profiles for hints as to where they have been and what they have been doing, paying special attention to postings made when you observed their absence.
You’ll either have to send them a friend request or get someone following them to do some snooping for you if you want to see their profile. If your initial search has no results and you feel you need some help, you can get a comprehensive Person Report from TruthFinder. If you’re looking for a certain person and haven’t had much luck finding them online, TruthFinder’s People Search will help you dig up previously hidden leads, such as social media profiles.
Check their phone’s location
Those trying to track down a specific person will be relieved to learn that sharing the location has become increasingly mainstream in recent years. There is a good chance that someone will know the whereabouts of the missing person’s phone. Family Sharing is a feature available to iPhone owners through iCloud. You can track someone if they have location services turned on their phone. The Find My Friends app, compatible with Android and iOS, is another popular means of sharing one’s whereabouts with others.