How Does a Private Investigator Find a Missing Person?

Each year, over 800,000 people are officially reported missing according to the FBI's National Crime Information Center. Of this number, around 80-90% are minors. Locating a missing person is an extremely time-sensitive matter, and the police generally work under limitations that prevent them from being as effective as they could be. Private investigators can be much more effective in locating a missing person.

Police only begin looking for a missing person after a certain amount of time has passed; by that time, it can be far too late if the person was abducted or otherwise harmed. Police also don't spring to action right away to search for people who may have left their homes voluntarily or who live on the streets. Additionally, police stop looking for a person after a certain amount of time and the case is declared closed so that resources can be devoted to other cases. Private investigators aren't bound by these restrictions. A private investigator can begin looking for a missing person as soon as they're notified of the person's disappearance. They can also continue trying to locate the person as long as you're still seeking information.

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Who will a private investigator look for?

People hire private investigators to locate all kinds of missing persons. For example:

  • Family members or loved ones who may have voluntarily disappeared or run away.
  • Minors who may have been kidnapped.
  • Fugitives or debtors who have fled.
  • Missing persons who haven't been found but whose cases have been declared closed.

How can a private investigator find a missing person?

Private investigators have many skills and strategies they can use to locate a missing person depending on the situation:

  • Surveillance - Private investigators can observe places where a missing person might be and can track a suspect's movements to determine the missing person's location. 
  • Searches of hospitals or mortuaries - Private investigators have the knowledge to easily access these facilities to determine the presence of a missing person.
  • Investigative techniques - Private investigators might use background checks, witness questioning, or other investigative techniques to identify suspects or individuals who can help locate the missing person. 
  • Networking - Private investigators often have a large network of fellow private investigators or informants they can pay to help them in a search or to provide useful information.
  • Physical searches - Private investigators may be able to use specialized vehicles to search air, land, and sea; areas the average person can't easily access.

A qualified private investigator can help you find a missing person even if the police aren't responsive or successful. If you need help locating someone, contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your situation. 

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