How to find a missing person in the united states
All other posters are the responsibility of the agency whose logo appears on the poster. To view a missing child poster click on the child's name or picture. The poster opens in another window so you can return to these search results. You may see children from a state or country that was not part of your search criteria. They are included because there is reason to believe they might be found in this state or country. Some of the individuals pictured in NCMEC posters were reported missing when they were between the ages of 18 andSEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Hackers Find Missing People For Fun
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: DISTURBING FIND While Searching For A Missing Person - Investigating Unsolved Missing Persons CasesContent:
Finding a Missing Loved One
Summary of Responses. Police efforts to locate and return missing persons is but one aspect of the larger set of problems related to the reasons people go missing. This guide is limited to addressing the particular issues associated with missing persons.
Related problems not directly addressed in this guide, each of which requires separate analysis, include the following:. Some of these related problems are covered in other guides in this series, all of which are listed at the end of this guide. For the most up-to-date listing of current and future guides, see www.
Using the National Crime Information Center NCIC to determine the extent of the missing-person problem and the different types of missing-person categories can present a national snapshot of the missing-person problem, but you will need to assess the extent of your local problem and the relative proportion of different categories to allocate resources appropriately.
For purposes of this guide, a missing person is defined as someone - either a child or an adult - who is missing, voluntarily or involuntarily. NCIC reported over , missing-person cases in , with approximately 13 percent of those cases still active at the end of that year.
Some people are missing voluntarily and others involuntarily. Each of these categories includes several subtypes of missing persons with potentially different investigative strategies for police. NCIC categorizes the missing as juvenile, endangered, disabled, other, involuntary, and catastrophe. Some of these categories describe characteristics of missing persons, others describe their temporary condition, and others describe their willingness to be missing. The most likely entry is juvenile 77 percent , followed by endangered 12 percent , disabled and other 4 percent of each , involuntary 3 percent , and catastrophe less than 1 percent.
However, natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and floods could add significant numbers to the catastrophe category in affected jurisdictions. National, as well as local, counts of missing persons for any given year are constantly changing as cases are listed by the date they occurred i.
Thus, persons who actually went missing in one year may not be reported as missing until years later. Because of the categorization scheme, the overlap among some categories - and the large gap in knowledge about the circumstances of many missing persons - the scope and nature of the missing-person problem is unclear. Your jurisdiction might have numbers of certain types of missing persons that differ from the national picture.
Data are entered by thousands of different people with varying levels of understanding about missing-person categories and definitions. Changes in certain categories over time may reflect greater understanding of appropriate assignment rather than real change in a category. For example, declines in the overall category of "juvenile" in NCIC may reflect a better assignment of cases of missing persons under age 18 to other more appropriate categories of "endangered," "involuntary," or "disabled" missing persons.
Since NCIC cases must be entered by police within 2 hours of reporting them, it is likely that police eventually know much more about the circumstances of the disappearance at a later time when the case has been cleared with a successful return. The NCIC categorization scheme may not be of significant operational value for police; accordingly, police agencies are encouraged to develop their own categorization schemes that best reflect the nature of their missing-person cases.
One Australian study found that 34 percent of missing persons had gone missing previously. The harms that missing persons experience or that their missing status causes to others vary. At one end of the harm spectrum, some missing persons are murdered, raped, or otherwise assaulted. At the other end of the spectrum, some missing persons experience little or no harm: they were never in danger but only unaccounted for, or they wished to go missing to escape worse consequences.
In the middle of the spectrum, some missing persons are injured or become ill because they did not have support or protection during the time they were missing. Others experience psychological trauma because they have been abducted, held captive, or experienced fear and anxiety from not knowing whether they would be found and rescued.
People who care for missing persons - whether family, friends, guardians, caregivers, or coworkers - experience anxiety and stress from not knowing whether the missing person is safe. Finally, all citizens experience some, although difficult-to-quantify, elevated risk to their safety when public safety resources are consumed by searching for missing persons who are not, in fact, in any danger.
A single missing-persons search can consume hundreds of hours by police, fire and emergency, helicopter, dive team, and canine-unit personnel.
Missing-person cases are not conventional criminal investigations, and most do not involve a crime. But what originally seems a mere routine missing-person case sometimes entails a far more serious matter; so the ability to prioritize potentially high-risk cases is essential.
Because missing-person cases can consume a significant amount of police resources, agencies can reap significant rewards by preventing missing-persons cases or responding in a more efficient manner. The missing-person case least likely to be viewed as unusual or suspicious - the case of the missing adult prostitute with a warrant - may in fact be the case at the highest risk for foul play.
Or what may appear to be a typical missing-child case may in fact have the police responding to a crime in progress - an abduction, a kidnapping, a molestation, a rape, or a murder.
While the missing elderly person or autistic child may not be at significant risk for foul play, there may be significant risks for accidental deaths, including exposure deaths and drowning. Assessing risk, while difficult, is a critical component of missing-person investigations, and cases should not be assumed to be of low priority until the initial investigation can be conducted.
Cases involving child abduction that may present a danger to the child are eligible for the Child Abduction CA flag when entered into NCIC as involuntarily missing or endangered missing. In some missing-person cases, there will be obvious signs of foul play, such as evidence of a struggle or of a home or a car in disarray. But in cases originally suspected to be benign, additional information may suggest the missing person is at high risk.
Family abduction cases also have varying levels of risk. Cases where a child is taken out of state, a family history of abuse, danger of sexual exploitation, and children with special medical needs may increase the risk in family child-abduction cases. Broadly, a missing child refers to any youth under the age of 18 whose whereabouts are unknown to his or her legal guardian. Of those relatively few children who were still missing, the majority were runaways from institutional care.
Juveniles account for approximately half of active missing-persons cases. Male and female children have a nearly equal likelihood of going missing. Of missing children about 55 percent are White, 20 percent are Black, and 20 percent are Hispanic. The typical offender is 27 years of age, unmarried, as likely to be unemployed as employed, and their initial contact with the victim occurred within three blocks of the victims residence and, in many cases, within a half-block.
In only about half of these cases were the victims reported as missing and in many cases, there was at least a 2-hour delay in reporting them to police. Most missing children 84 percent are runaways or are missing for benign explanations. The most common categories of missing children are not necessarily those in which the child is at greatest risk. The least common missing-child case is the most dangerous - stranger abductions.
However, initially, police may not know if the reason the child is missing is a brief runaway episode, a lost child, a miscommunication about the childs whereabouts, or a stranger abduction, which emphasizes the importance of the initial investigation. Established in , the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children NCMEC is a nonprofit, private organization which serves as a clearinghouse for information on missing and exploited children. NCMEC provides technical assistance and training to law enforcement and social-service professionals, distributes descriptions and photographs of missing children, and networks with other nonprofits and state clearinghouses for missing children.
There has long been a need for a national database of missing persons and unidentified dead that can be used by police, coroners and medical examiners, and the public, which cross-checks itself for matches between characteristics entered for missing persons and unidentified dead.
There are as many as 40, sets of unidentified human remains in coroner and medical examiner offices across the United States and an additional 4, cases are added each year. NamUs is a national clearinghouse for information and includes an online system with three databases, one for missing persons, one for unidentified dead, and a new database of unclaimed dead. Cases and updates to existing cases are vetted by NamUs experts before they are added, and police and coroners can keep sensitive case data away from public display.
Only coroners and medical examiners are authorized to enter unidentified-dead and unclaimed-dead cases. These databases are linked, and searches can be performed by using a number of different identifiers, including scars, tattoos, clothing, jewelry, and DNA.
NamUs cleared 18 cold cases in its first 18 months. NamUs improves the efficiency with which dental records and other radiographs can be shared with experts; has extensive search capabilities; allows free access to expert anthropologists, odontologists, and fingerprint examiners; and provides free DNA testing. It allows for automatic searching of two of the databases to find similarities in missing-person and unidentified-dead cases. Unfortunately, most police agencies as many as 93 percent are not yet using NamUs.
Source: NamUS website at www. Runaway and thrownaway juveniles children forced from their home or abandoned comprise the most significant portion of missing-person cases. As many as 1. Most runaway episodes last only a day or two 75 percent of such juveniles return home within a week , and most do not leave the local area. Although most runaway cases do not result in an arrest, there are approximately , juvenile runaway arrests each year.
Juvenile runaways are at an increased likelihood of physical, drug, and sexual abuse; suicide; and child prostitution. Image1: Juvenile runaways are at an increased risk of being exploited for child prostitution. See Problem-Specific Guide No. Children missing from care can be missing from institutional facilities or from alternative in-home care, such as foster care.
Children in care are afforded more confidentiality protections than those not in care; thus, getting necessary information about these missing children will present challenges. Of the nearly , foster children in the United States, as many as 20 percent are missing from care at any given time, and most of those 98 percent are considered runaways.
The remaining 2 percent are unaccounted for, and their status is unknown. Recent media reports have noted the increase in cases of teenage mothers, many who come from foster care, who run away with their infants to be with their childs father or other relatives. Although abductions of children by strangers are rare, they are high-profile cases, require a huge amount of police resources, and often pose a significant risk to the child. These abductions were equally likely to have occurred during spring, summer, and fall.
The fewer number of winter abduction cases likely mirrors other crime patterns that decline during winter months, when there is less opportunity for crime; in these cases, fewer children are outdoors without supervision. Males were the abductors in 93 percent of abductions by strangers, and persons in their 20s constituted about one-third of the abductors. Police data do not reflect nearly this number, as only about half of nonfamily abductions are reported to police; commonly because such abductions are not perceived to be dangerous situations, caretakers think the child will return, or caretakers do not know about the episode.
In only about one-fifth of nonfamily abductions were police initially contacted to help locate the abducted child. Teenagers are the most likely victims in nonfamily abductions 81 percent of nonfamily abduction victims were 12 or over ; females account for 65 percent of victims; and in nearly half of the cases, victims were sexually assaulted.
About one-half of nonfamily abductions are perpetrated by someone known to the child, including friends, neighbors, caretakers, or other persons of authority. The most likely place of a nonfamily abduction is an open area, such as a street, a public place, or wooded area. Sexual assault is the primary motive in nonfamily abductions.
Weapons are involved in less than half of nonfamily abductions. Nonfamily abductions occur most frequently in the spring 36 percent and are least likely to occur in the winter 15 percent.
There are relatively few cases of nonfamily infant abductions - only about cases nationwide per year - and even that figure appears to be declining. Historically, they occurred primarily in health care facilities and were committed by women seeking a baby, often because of a faked pregnancy.
In many of the cases involving the death of the mother, the infant is abducted by cesarean section at the mothers or the offenders home. The nonfamily abductions by friends and acquaintances and sometimes strangers in this category differ in terms of offender intent and other case characteristics and do not display the characteristics of stereotypical child abductions by strangers.
Examples include a teenage girl forced into a car and detained for 4 hours by her ex-boyfriend, a 4-year-old boy taken on a joyride by a school bus driver, a babysitter who did not allow children to return home until she was paid for previous babysitting, a teenage girl detained by force while on a date and sexually assaulted, and a year-old girl lured into a home and sexually assaulted by an year old male acquaintance Finkelhor et al. Most abductions of children are perpetrated by noncustodial parents, sometimes referred to as family abductions.
Report and Identify Missing Persons
Our missing person cases have involved finding lost children, biological parents for the adopted, old friends, lost loves, and co-workers. The circumstances that separate friends and family- such as adoption, death, war, marriage, job promotion, travel and illness-can leave you feeling anxious and unresolved. Lingering questions arise that may go unanswered for months What happened to my best friend from school? Does anyone know where she moved after her husband died?
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and fate are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident , crime , death in a location where they cannot be found such as at sea , or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued.
If someone you know goes missing, you should report a missing person case as soon as possible. Call There is no need to wait 24 hours. You lose valuable time during those 24 hours. Provide a photo and include a full description of the missing person, including if they have any distinguishing marks, such as scars or tattoos. However, missing people who do not fall under these categories will not receive as much attention. This is because people over the age of 18 legally do not have to return home. Since , the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, housed within the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, works behind the scenes to help investigators and families find the missing.
Find a missing person.
By logging in, I agree to the following terms and conditions: You are accessing a U. Government information system, which includes: 1 this computer, 2 this computer network, 3 all computers connected to this network, and 4 all devices and storage media attached to this network or to a computer on this network. The use of this system is restricted to authorized users. Unauthorized access, use, or modification of this U. This system is monitored to ensure proper performance of applicable security features and procedures.
Our private investigators have helped thousands of people trying to locate someone. Our competitors typically charge by the hour, so there is no end game in sight. How long will they be working for?
Find Missing Persons
Summary of Responses. Police efforts to locate and return missing persons is but one aspect of the larger set of problems related to the reasons people go missing. This guide is limited to addressing the particular issues associated with missing persons.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Where are all the missing people in the U.S. going?
Anyone under the age of 18 or over 65 who is missing or has medical issues, or is the possible victim of a kidnapping or involved in any criminal activity, should be reported immediately. The sooner the information is distributed to agencies throughout your state and the country, the more likely the person is to be found. In most situations, the police talk to anyone who has had contact with the missing person. In addition, they search the last-known residence, looking for clues or evidence; monitor his charge card usage; and tap into his cellphone trail for clues to his whereabouts. In many cases, if the person is known to frequent local stores, use a credit card to get cash or traveling with another person, local CCTV cameras point to the person. Physical clues, such as clothing, offer additional clues.
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing